Washington, D.C.—On July 18, the bipartisan, bicameral Dietary Supplement Caucus (DCS) held an educational briefing with help from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA).

The event was designed to educate on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s newly mandated label requirements for foods and dietary supplements. The five trade associations explained in a joint statement that the label changes, which range from measuring folic acid in micrograms of dietary folate equivalents (DFEs) to including added sugar and its percentage of daily value, were presented by Paula Trumbo, Ph.D., independent consultant, EAS Consulting Group, and former Acting Director, Nutrition Programs Staff, Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).

AHPA, CHPA, CRN, NPA and UNPA said modernizing food and dietary supplement labels is in the best interest of consumers and industry alike. For dietary supplement consumers, the associations explained, supplement facts labels "serve as a trusted source of information and provide a consistent way to comprehend a supplement’s nutrient content." The industry needs to adhere to the changing label requirements, they add, noting that a lack of compliance can result in FDA enforcement action.

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The DCS briefing included examples of efforts to educate consumers on the label changes, including theLabel Wiseinitiative, which features a toolkit of materials that can be used to inform constituents and consumers in general. As Brian Wommack, SVP of communications at CRN, explained when Label Wise was launched, “The campaign’s assets are intended to assure consumers that the label changes are positive and helpful. However, they will only achieve that if they reach consumers, which is why we are looking to industry and other stakeholders to help spread the word and share the Label Wise content. This is an opportunity for industry to encourage label literacy among its consumers and also to demonstrate that the industry is regulated and a partner with FDA in promoting industry transparency and consumer education.” For more information, read:CRN Launches “Label Wise” Campaign.