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Why the FDA Supplement Facts compliance extension could boost the Supplement OWL

By Stephen Daniells , 19-Jun-2017
Last updated on 19-Jun-2017 at 16:26 GMT2017-06-19T16:26:33Z

© iStock
© iStock

The FDA’s decision to date of compliance with the changes needed to nutrition and supplement facts panels could be a good thing for the Supplement OWL, says Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

In an update on its website  published last week, the US FDA noted that the compliance date for the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts Label and Serving Size final rules was originally set for July 26, 2018, with an extra year for smaller companies. However, after careful consideration, the agency decided to extend the compliance dates, without specifying a new date.

The buzz in the industry suggests that the deadline is likely to extended to 2021, giving companies a lot longer to comply.

And this will be a good thing for the Supplement OWL, said Steve Mister.

“When the deadline was July 2018 some companies may have been reluctant to enter their labels into the OWL because they would have just had to re-do the process next year, but the extension gives companies the incentive to enter their existing labels now and removes a reason to delay,” he said.

The database currently has about 1,000 products queued up, said Mister, and there is the expectation that the number of labels in the database will grow exponentially now that the deadline for the label changes has been extended.

Transparency

The Supplement OWL (the Online Wellness Library) – the industry-wide, self-regulatory product label registry being spearheaded by CRN – went live in April 2017.

The registry is intended to boost transparency in the industry by providing a more complete picture of the marketplace. It serves as a resource for regulators, retailers, and industry, and can be accessed by anyone using the internet.

The registry has been endorsed by most of the other industry associations, including the United Natural Products Alliance , the Consumer Healthcare Products Association,  and the Natural Products Association , as well as the American Botanical Council.

“We’ve also had excellent feedback from retailers and their interest will help drive the growth of the OWL,” said Mister.

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