NPA Proposes COVID-19 Safety Measures in Light of FDA's Inspection Rollbacks


The Natural Products Association calls for Import Alert and expansion of Supplement Safety and Compliance Initiative.

The Natural Products Association (NPA) proposed a "public-private partnership" to ensure the safety of the global dietary supplement supply chain following FDA’s announcement Mar. 18 that the agency will scale back on routine inspections during the COVID-19 crisis, except for “for cause” inspections, which entail responses to adverse events reporting, natural disasters, and the like. FDA is also postponing normal inspections of facilities overseas.
NPA’s first recommendation is for FDA to issue an import alert for supplements. NPA believes that, while this would require marginal resources, it would be an effective measure that would provide important information to the agency to facilitate their enforcement of dietary supplement regulations.

An import alert NPA is proposing would require importers to be responsible in ensuring that products being imported into the U.S. are in compliance with FDA’s laws and regulations. The agency last used import alerts in response to safety concerns related to kratom that was produced overseas. NPA requested a meeting with FDA officials to discuss potential benefits to this approach.
Additionally, NPA recommended that FDA work to expand the number of companies who agree to meet quality standards as outlined in NPA’s Supplement Safety and Compliance Initiative (SSCI), which was designed to recognize various safety standards throughout the entire dietary supplement supply chain. Retailers who participate in SSCI only allow those who adhere to it to make it onto retail shelves.
“The benefits of good public-private partnerships are one of the real success stories from this crisis, and we are trying to apply that lesson in the supplement industry as well," Daniel Fabricant, PhD, preident and CEO of NPA. "FDA is absolutely right to prioritize resources but there are some additional strong steps worth exploring to protect consumers. We want to work with government officials and all stakeholders to fill gaps where necessary and ensure we maintain the safest food and supplement supply in the world."