Washington, D.C.—New benchmarking standards for nutritional supplements were praised during the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Dietary Supplements Standardization Coordination Meeting on May 13, according toa press release from NPA.

A panel discussion on the Supplement Safety and Compliance Initiative (SSCI) was led by Dadrion Gaston, senior director of corporate ethics & compliance for Walmart. Gaston said during the panel discussion that she expects retailers, including Walmart, to meet new guidelines set by SSCI, as outlined in guidance released on March 28, followed by a 30-day comment period. Gaston said about the guidance: “We’re proud to bring together the best experts from the leading supplement companies to examine everything from auditor training, qualification, and the way audits are conducted.”

Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), said in the release: “SSCI is the only comprehensive program to provide end-to-end transparency in the natural products supply chain. We created a system understanding that FDA can’t solve all our problems. We set out to demonstrate to consumers and regulators that they can have confidence in the industry, and SSCI is the way we are going to achieve that.”

“SSCI is a retailer-led initiative looking to establish the guidance and thought systems necessary to ensure quality, authenticity, safety, and cGMP compliance needed to reduce safety risk,” said Guru Ramanathan, Ph.D., chairman of the SSCI board of directors and CIO and SVP of GNC, in a talk given at the Dietary Supplements Regulatory Summit titled “Industry efforts to harmonize supplement safety and quality standards: Supplement Safety & Compliance Initiative (SSCI) and Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA).”

Ramanathan noted that it is not, in and of itself, a standard—rather, it is modeled after the food industry’s GFSI, intended to benchmark equivalent standards in order to reduce audits and bring some efficiency to the audit process.

While the SSCI’sguidance documentsare password-locked, the benchmarking requirementsare available here.