“It’s vital to CRN’s mission that we take the time to build and foster relationships with members of Congress, especially newcomers to Capitol Hill,” said Mike Greene, senior vice president, government relations, CRN. “These critical meetings give CRN and its members the opportunity to engage with elected officials and clarify common misconceptions that they, and their constituents, may have about the industry. Our message is clear: dietary supplements are safe, regulated, and enhance the wellness regimens of more than 170 million Americans.”
As part of its outreach, CRN is focusing on the following three key areas: 1) an increased focus on federal policy that includes dietary supplements and functional food in promoting health and wellness; 2) efforts by CRN and the industry to supplement government regulation with industry self-regulatory initiatives; and 3) the importance of the Dietary Supplement Caucus.
“One of CRN’s top priorities this year is to highlight and promote legislation that would allow consumers to purchase dietary supplements using their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs),” said Mr. Greene. “CRN is also enthusiastic about building support and moving legislation forward that would allow low-income Americans to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase a multivitamin supplement. It’s important that all consumers, regardless of socioeconomic status, have affordable access to the products they and their families need to live healthier lives.”
To underline the value of industry self-regulatory initiatives, CRN will highlight the Supplement OWL, an industry-wide dietary supplement product registry, as an example of industry self-regulation that complements and enhances government regulations and laws already in place. In addition, the association will cite the CRN/National Advertising Division‘s (NAD) initiative that monitors and reviews dietary supplement advertisements to help ensure truth and accuracy. Now entering its eleventh year, the program has been lauded by the previous Federal Trade Commission staff as “an excellent example of self-regulation.”
CRN will also urge the new legislators to join the bipartisan, bicameral Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC) as a way to engage and maintain impactful dialogue about dietary supplement/functional food issues most relevant to Congress and their constituents.
Said Mr. Greene, “Our industry is important to Congress because it is important to consumers. Not only do more than two-thirds of Americans take dietary supplements every year, but our industry also has a strong economic impact in all 50 states. We appreciate Congress’ eagerness to learn more about our industry’s regulation, its products, and its consumers.”