NPA seeks to enhance consumer trust with new programs

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Natural products association, Advertising, Marketing, Npa

The Natural Products Association (NPA) has announced new programs
that will subject finished products to random testing so as to
prevent and crack down on false advertising.

These include the association's finished product testing and truth in advertising programs. The two programs represent an intersection between two trends in the dietary supplement industry of late: that of increasing the pressure on manufacturers to properly test their products and ingredients, as well as that of self-regulation for false advertising. Both issues stem back to the underlying theme that is crucial to the industry's long-term viability and sales: credibility with consumers. "What's on the label is what should be in the product, nothing more, nothing less,"​ said Tracy Taylor, executive director of the Natural Products Association. "This program will not only boost consumer confidence, it will help discourage bad actors from cutting corners since the results will be made public."​ Under NPA's finished product testing program, approximately 15 popular products - such as vitamins and mineral supplements, nutrition bars and sports beverages - will be randomly purchased from retail stores each month and sent to independent labs for testing. The testing will be undertaken according to label claims and using scientifically relevant standards, says NPA. Test results will then be peer-reviewed by scientists with specific industry knowledge and results will be published on NPA's website. The first product test results will be published in the fall of 2007. The truth in advertising program is set to involve NPA working with manufacturers, retailers and advertisers so as to educate them on the details of advertising requirements. "Efforts like these help our industry maintain its strong record of quality, safety, and efficacy, which consumers have come to expect,"​ said Taylor. "Our industry is made up of people who want to help other people get and stay healthy, and product integrity and truth in advertising are two important ways to help achieve that goal." ​The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) is undertaking an initiative with similar goals. The organization has amassed grants destined for the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The CRN grants will allow NAD to increase by three-fold the number of dietary supplement-specific case reviews opened each year. CRN will have no role in determining which advertisements NAD chooses to review or whether the claims are determined to be truthful and accurate.

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