NPA launches SSCI with GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Walmart & Whole Foods onboard

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/monticelllo
© iStock/monticelllo

Related tags Consumer protection Consumer Management

The Natural Products Association has officially launched the Supplement Safety and Compliance Initiative (SSCI), with some of the largest retailers of natural products and supplements involved.

SSCI was unveiled by the NPA’s Dr Daniel Fabricant at SupplySide West last year with the aim of to unifying standards for manufacturers and increasing consumer confidence.

“Our industry is safe because of initiatives like SSCI and our commitment to consumer protection and quality control. NPA is thrilled to work with founding SSCI members GNC and Walmart and industry leaders Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods to develop a retailer driven and consumer focused Industry Leadership Group (ILG),” ​said Dr Fabricant.

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at SupplySide West​, Dr Fabricant explained that the ILG will share best practices and ensure the standards are met at a local level.

SSCI details

The initiative is said to focus on the entire product life cycle and has the following goals:

- Reduce supplement safety risks, recalls, and harms by delivering equivalence and convergence between effective supplement safety management systems
- Develop core competencies and capacity building in supplement safety to create effective global systems
- Drive global change through benchmarking of all standards, domestic and international
- Provide unique stakeholder platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing and networking
- Manage costs by eliminating redundancy in certification and improving operational efficiency
- Increase the number of qualified auditors available to manufacturers, further increasing consumer safety
- Address the myriad of standards available globally by allowing various schemes in the international community to benchmark their standard to one overarching standard.
- Design a tiered structure that accommodates the unique needs of small ingredient suppliers (i.e. organic, wild-crafted herbs), manufacturers and retailers.

“Similar retailer driven initiatives have been developed for foods but never applied to dietary supplements until now. SSCI will continue to promote safety, and consumer confidence in each step of the supply chain from farm to store shelf,”​ added Dr Fabricant.

“We’re getting the retailers there first and then push up the chain,” ​he told us. “Manufacturers and suppliers will play a huge role, but retailers are the gate keepers. When an attorney general points at a retailer they’ve got to have system to be able to point to.” 


Many in the industry are awaiting the consensus-based GMP standard for dietary supplements being finalized by the Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA), which is expected before the end of Q1 2017.

Dr Fabricant previously explained to us that SSCI and GRMA are complementary and the two schemes can work synergistically.

“GRMA is focused on CFR 111 compliance, whereas SSCI is benchmarking multiple quality standards, including, for example, fair trade or DNA barcoding or process controls for wild crafted herbs,” ​he explained. “We’re looking to take every important regulatory problem and benchmark all of these. The scope of SSCI is much broader than just GMP compliance, and SSCI and GRMA can work synergistically.”

SSCI’s benchmarked standards include: International Benchmarking of Schemes; Farmed Ingredients; Feed Production; Packaging; Pre-Processing of Plants; Production of (Bio) Chemicals; Production of Packaging; Processing of Plants Perishable Products; Processing of Animals Perishable Products; Storage & Distribution; Wild-Crafted Herbs; Matrices (liquid, powder, gummy, etc.); Supplements (processing of finished product).

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This was needed Century ago but Never Late Now

Posted by Dr. Grace T. Abolaji,

Our ancient parents used all these natural supplements both fresh and processed into liquid, gel, tincture, and dried powdered forms

They lived healthy lives for over 100 years and left the legacy for us to follow. It is not late to go back to the roots and do what is best to keep us to live awesome health for as long as we could.

The moves of having standard across the product chain system globally have come in a good time to rescue some dying souls.

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Posted by Tim,

I'm sure WalMart is gonna be the first to comply with this and all their suppliers from China.

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