CRN's Mister addresses members, lays out goals for next term

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT


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This week, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) held their virtual conference “Science in Session: New, Now, Next.”

This year marks the end of CRN’s current three-year strategic plan and signals the start of the next, which begins in 2021.

CRN’s President & CEO Steve Mister, Esq., CAE, addressed the membership. Speaking virtually, Mister said this is certainly not the way he had expected to deliver his annual remarks. 

Reflecting on the current term and the pandemic's impact on industry, Mister said, “As I think back to 2017, when we were developing our list of external threats and opportunities for this industry, I am certain that none of our board members were anticipating a global pandemic in the final year.”

Indeed, 2020 has been marked by the impact of the coronavirus and the unprecedented disruption it has caused to the industry and life as we know it. Mister said in the face of

Steve Mister

this pandemic, CRN was able to pivot with agility and resilience to confront the challenge head on. 

“We not only accomplished most of our ambitious agenda, but we have been able to supplement that with additional programming to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts it has had on our businesses, our supply chains, and our products.”

These accomplishments were made possible by CRN’s diverse staff, which stands 19 strong. 

“We are nineteen professionals — scientists, toxicologists, attorneys, a naturopath, communication professionals, lobbyists, and industry veterans, who get up every morning—with the singular focus of making the world better for our members, the dietary supplement and functional food industry. This gives me an opportunity to publicly thank and applaud the CRN staff for your amazing work ethic and tireless performance, this year especially. You pivoted to remote working and it was seamless. Throughout the pandemic, you have worked even harder to serve our members.”

Victory lap 

Pandemic aside, Mister highlighted CRN’s achievements such as promoting mandatory product listings, adopting Master Files for New Dietary Ingredients, combating class action litigation with amicus briefs as well as the science team’s successful influence on Dietary Guidelines.

“At CRN, we focus on delivering results. Look at some of the ways we have delivered: From our Labelwise campaign, to numerous scientific presentations. We are building strong relationships with regulators too — and not just with FDA and with Congress, but internationally as well. Through our work with CRN-International and our involvement with IADSA, we have made the CRN brand respected by regulators around the world. Just this fall we have bipartisan legislation on CBD gaining support and attracting sponsors on both sides of the political aisle. And our COVID response with a full weekly webinar series earlier this year delivered what you wanted when you needed it: Results!”

Planning for the future 

High on Mister’s agenda was the need to address the next term. In looking ahead, the CRN Executive Committee said they envision a world in which nutritional products are universally trusted, accessible and accepted as essential for a healthy world.

In the upcoming term, Mister said CRN plans to emphasize:

  • The credibility of the industry as a driver of proactive self care, nutrition and wellness. “That means self regulation where possible, and reasonable, balanced regulation by government where necessary, along with credible enforcement from both.”
  • The sustainability of the planet and its natural resources, of communities and the industry’s ability to deliver effective health solutions. 
  • The accessibility to CRN’s products, both by opposing restrictions and requirements that drive up costs or limit availability, and by finding ways to expand our markets, and promote the availability of our products to underserved and underrepresented populations.

Mister acknowledged it’s an ambitious agenda, but said it’s one that he is confident can be achieved. He added that CRN looks forward to the next term, including  2023, when CRN celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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