CRN: NDI guidance is 'doable'

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ndi draft guidance Fda Food and drug administration eating disorders Crn supplyside east

NutraIngredients-USA caught up with CRN’s Steve Mister at SupplySide East to discuss new research, top priorities for the year and what they hope to see from FDA this year.

Kicking off the interview, Steve Mister, President and CEO of CRN highlighted “Eating Disorders and Dietary Supplements: A Review of the Science,” which was funded by the Council for Responsible Nutrition. Mister said the review was in response to all of the State bills seeking to impose age restrictions on certain weight management supplements.

“The proponents are operating under this false premise that using dietary supplements somehow causes eating disorders. We were pretty sure that was not the case. But we wanted to do a fair overview of the scientific literature to really look at what was out there and see if there was any basis for this. This piece that's being published in Nutrients, is a review of the literature and it shows pretty conclusively that there is no causal connection between the use of dietary supplements and eating disorders, which really, helps you sort of end this misinformation,” said Mister.

The review’s author, Susan Hewlings, PhD, Director of Scientific Affairs, NutraSource, ultimately concluded that there is a lack of evidence to suggest a causative role for dietary supplements in eating disorders.

Another research project that CRN commissioned is an IPSOS survey that demonstrated consumers overwhelmingly want dietary supplements to be an allowable expense in flexible/healthcare spending accounts.

“We are promoting legislation in Congress that would allow consumers to use their flex spending accounts and healthcare savings accounts to purchase dietary supplements. These are those accounts that people set up, they put their pre-tax money from their paychecks into them and that lets their money go that much farther, because they're not having to pay taxes on it,” explained Mister. “The research shows that consumers overwhelmingly want to have dietary supplements in their FSAs and HSAs. They understand that this is an important part of their health care and they want the flexibility to be able to use those accounts for dietary supplements, along with eye glasses and braces, and doctor visits and co-pays on their prescription drugs.”

Research aside, Mister said this year CRN has a long wish list for FDA, with final NDI guidance high on that list.

“We've been at this since 2011, so it's time that we get some finality around the expectations of the agency. We'd like to see them do a lot more enforcement of some of the really egregious problems in the industry. There's been some press reported recently about counterfeit products showing up on some of the online platforms. We still have really blatantly illegal ingredients that are out there. FDA issues a warning letter and then we just wonder whatever happens after that. We'd like to see the agency follow through on some of this enforcement and send a strong message that they're watching the industry.”

Mister added that he does expect some resolution of the NDI situation. “We're concerned about drug preclusion and we keep seeing FDA plucking ingredients out of the market and saying that they're precluded because of previous drug use for the ingredient. I'd like to see some resolution of that as well. And I think that's something that's doable.”

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