The association’s founding board members include: Todd Harrison, partner at Venable, LLP; Joe Sandler, partner of the Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, P.C.; and Charles Brown, national counsel for Consumers for Dental Choice, founder and president of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry and former attorney general of West Virginia.
Board leadership also includes Steve Rye, CEO of Mercola Health Resources, Alan Lewis, director of food and agriculture policy at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Todd Norton, vice president of business development at Aker BioMarine, Reid Tracy, president and CEO of Hay House Inc., Dan Lifton, CEO for Quality of Life Labs, Chris Holland, vice president of sales and marketing for Beijing Gingko Group North America (BGG) and Patrick Sullivan, Jr., president and co-founder of Jigsaw Health.
Organic & Natural’s founding members include Aker BioMarine, American Nutrition Association, BGG, Capsugel, Dr. Mercola Premium Supplements, Hay House Inc., International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, Jigsaw Health, Organic Consumers Association, Quality of Life Labs, RFI Ingredients and Venable LLP.
The association launched last year with a mission of setting the standard for natural products by creating transparent and objective criteria for the use of the term ‘natural’. A consumer survey was completed earlier this year and the data has now been analyzed with Organic & Natural planning to have a completed definition of the term ‘natural’ by this October. That will be followed by a voluntary regulatory compliance and certification program in the first quarter in 2016.
ONHA was the first industry trade organization to meet with the NY attorney general’s office regarding the investigation into the herbal supplement industry. The organization subsequently filed a citizen petition with the FDA requesting amendments to current regulation in order to bring raw material manufacturers under 21 CFR Part 111 and to clarify the private-label distributors obligations under those standards. The NY AG’s office reinforced Organic & Natural’s citizen petition by including portions of it in their own letter to the FDA.
“We recognize that we are advocating for the highest level of standards and transparency for the industry and that there are some who may not feel ready for this level of scrutiny,” said Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of Organic & Natural.
“Our leadership and membership is comprised of first-rate companies and consumer organizations that understand we have to put the integrity of the industry first as part of a long-term strategy. It’s the only way we will ultimately win consumer trust and loyalty.”
Dan Lifton, CEO of Quality of Life Labs, said: "I am very excited to join the Board and plan to focus on helping the association frame the definition of 'natural,' which can dramatically help our industry."