The holidays and the start of a new year frequently lead to soul searching and thoughts of improvement. The supplement industry is no different. Below, some members share what they wish to see in the coming year.
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“My wish is that 2016 is the year that industry stops ‘borrowing’ science for ingredients. If innovative companies invest in research to create and substantiate claims—and industry buys from ‘imitators’ selling inferior, unproven, potentially unsafe products to save a few pennies—we all lose. Innovation will be stifled lacking a return on investment, and an industry that thrives on newly validated products will have nothing new to sell.”—Eric Anderson, SVP Global Marketing, NattoPharma
“In light of the horrific shootings and mass killings in the U.S. in 2015, I wish mentally ill people would consider natural mental health solutions instead of pharmaceuticals.”—Mark Becker, Account Manager, Vivion, Inc., and Supplement Perspectives contributor
“I would like to see the supplement industry ‘own’ some of the problems that negatively impact the industry and our consumers, as well as develop strategies that separate the good guys from the bad.”—Judy Blatman, senior vice president, Communications, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN)
“An organized campaign to get all adults on 1000 mg C and children on 500 mg C per day. Just be bold--never mind the RDA!! Let’s show the world how much medical costs could drop with this tiny investment.”—Dr. C. Leigh Broadhurst, Supplement Perspectives contributor
My wish for our industry is that we would accept and promote our earned position as leaders in the health & wellness movement in the U.S.—taking a more proactive and aggressive approach to promoting this, versus the reactive stance we are in today. By committing to the principles of improving lives (especially through natural retailers), our industry will elevate above the noise and be able to make real progress with Washington, state governments, and with consumers.”—Robert U. Craven, CEO, FoodState
“My wish is that the industry would embrace transparency, be real about our strengths and weaknesses, and take significant action within the supply chain to ensure safe, effective, compelling products for consumers.”—Bethany Davis, Director of Regulatory Affairs, FoodState
“I would like to see our industry take back the narrative in 2016. Our industry is in response mode too often. We have a more powerful story to tell and we must take stronger steps with news media, across social channels, within online communities and even with how natural products companies empower and mobilize their employees, retail partners, and advocates.”--John Digles, Global Wellness & Nutrition Practice Lead, MWWPR
"2016 is a pivotal year in which dietary supplement industry leaders and innovators should collectively raise the bar with science-backed ingredients, educational initiatives, and regulatory transparency to establish a higher level of market trust."—Lynda M. Doyle, VP Global Marketing, OmniActive Health Technologies, Inc.
“Our wish for 2016: More brain food for the kidlets! Yes, a healthy diet is the best way, but consuming quality supplements is one sure-fire way a child can not only fill any nutrient gaps but unlock all that untapped potential hiding just behind good nutrition. Here’s to nourishing inquisitive minds, strong bodies and joyful spirits in 2016!”--Kathleen Dunn, MPH, RD & Lorna Williams, MPH, RD industry consultants and co-authors of Eating for A’s
“I would like to see the natural products industry take a more active part in the political process. Specifically, this includes taking a more serious role in who is elected to Congress by contributing financially to those who stand up for the industry on a daily basis. This also includes regularly communicating with members of Congress about the safe and positive role the industry plays in the United States.”—Dr. Daniel Fabricant, CEO and Executive Director of the Natural Products Association
“I hope for new, innovative botanicals ingredients with extremely high quality standards. Then the more critical step would be how to communicate quality herbal products to the public, our legislatures, and all stakeholders. This can only be done if all industry trade organizations work together with their members and consumers contact their legislatures to protect their right to safe access and health freedom.”—Trish Flaster, Executive Director, Botanical Liaisons LLC
“I’d like to see a strong and thriving Office of Dietary Supplement Programs at FDA that works to fully implement and enforce the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), and collaborates with industry stakeholders to improve regulation and adhere to the spirit and intent of DSHEA. The new formation of an “Office” focused on dietary supplements could be a new and productive change in the way FDA deals with dietary supplements by not only protecting the public health, but also engaged in greater collaboration with the industry.”--Mike Greene, Vice President, Government Affairs, CRN
“That the wish fairy might wave his or her magic wand and sprinkle some potent fairy dust on the industry to move it from being one that is historically highly reactive to one that is highly proactive in nature. This would include higher trade association engagement, universal incorporation of best practices, and increased financial support for worthwhile initiatives that serve to increase product quality and consumer confidence and get us out of the crosshairs of regulators, legislators, and mainstream media.”—Frank Lampe, VP, Communications & Industry Relations, United Natural Products Alliance
“I wish that the Natural Product Industry would take up weight loss in a WHOLE SYSTEM approach and not have it perpetuate the ideas that there is a product that will assist folks in getting to their goals! I also would like the idea that those who wish to dwell in the natural space (vs. one trick pony meds) need to participate on multiple levels (i.e., diet, exercise, etc.)."—Dr. Holly Lucille ND, RN
“I’d like to see the dietary supplement industry embrace a voluntary registry of all supplements in the market. The industry has come together before to support the AER law and GMP regulations. This initiative is an opportunity to improve transparency for our products, put self-interest aside to advance the image of the industry, and show our regulators and our critics that we put quality and safety first.”—Steve Mister, President & CEO, CRN
“I’d like to see fair and balanced reporting of research on supplements. I’d like to see conventional doctors finally admit that there is research supporting the safety and efficacy of natural supplements.”—Michael A. Smith, M.D., Senior Health Scientist, Life Extension
“Legislation to prevent patent trolling and award attorney’s fees.”—Erica Stump, attorney, and Supplement Perspectives contributor
“I'd wish for the FDA to revise the cGMPs to 1) include all links in the chain of custody and 2) also state what methods to use on what test sample regardless of AGs... Knowing that won’t happen, my back-up wish is for the industry to have a meaningful discussion on fit for purpose testing that produces a guidance document to state what methods to use on what test sample regardless of what various state AGs dictate.”—Elan Sudberg, CEO, Alkemist Labs
“My wish: More serious enforcement from FDA. Not just on GMPs but on New Dietary Ingredients and claims as well. All of the good companies that invest the time and money in compliance deserve nothing else from their regulator – the playing field should be level and compliant companies shouldn’t be at a competitive disadvantage because they play by the rules.”—Marc Ullman, Of Counsel, Rivkin Radler LLP