The industry-wide, self-regulatory initiative was announced one year ago, with the intention of boosting 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.
“Last month, during Expo West, it was heartening to witness the high level of awareness about the Supplement OWL and exhilarating to be surrounded by the industry buzz. This has been a unique opportunity for our industry: working together on a self-regulatory initiative for the greater good,” said Steve Mister, president & CEO, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the trade association spearheading the registry.
“We credit those thought leaders who recognized the importance of an industry-wide registry that would fill a gap for regulators, and we commend those companies who wanted to be—and are—part of the first wave of labels available in the product registry. Together, we gained consensus around a dietary supplement registry, we built it, and now we’re ready to make it grow.”
The registry is now widely accessible for examination and for more companies to join and upload their labels.
“Today is just the start, but broader engagement, that’s the end game,” said Mister. “If you have confidence in your product and in your label, why wouldn’t you want to house it in a free product registry that demonstrates you’re willing to help the industry be more transparent and more accountable to our regulators, to retailers, and ultimately to consumers. If daylight is indeed ‘the best disinfectant,’ then the Supplement OWL helps to clean up the industry by putting products on display.”
“We anticipate there will be additional expressions of public support,” said Mister. “It’s the right thing to do, especially at a time when some anticipate government will seek to reduce industry regulation. That’s when we have our best opportunity to proactively find ways to raise the bar for this industry. That’s what the Supplement OWL does.”
The Supplement OWL allows users to access the registry through the internet and to search product entries by brand name, ingredient, health category and a host of other options. The registry provides ingredient listings, serving sizes, a copy of the Supplement Facts box, and other information about the supplements.
A second tier includes additional information that may be voluntarily submitted by each dietary supplement manufacturer. For example, manufacturers may choose to include information such as third-party cGMP certifications, product specifications, documentation of supply-chain and/or production sustainability programs, or other product credentials. Manufacturers have the option to determine who will have access permission to view the information submitted in Tier 2. This section will include a nominal charge.
Getting started with uploading labels involves a three-step process, beginning with outreach to UL, the global independent safety science company who is developing and administering the technology that drives the Supplement OWL, to learn what product and label information will need to be submitted. Then, companies can choose from four options to determine the best method to submit their labels: 1) electronic transfer from an existing IT system; 2) conversion from the ODS label database; 3) manual data entry; or 4) a third-party upload service.
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