Natural Products Insider: Then and Now – Omega-3 monograph

A voluntary monograph adopted 20 years ago for omega-3 products has paid big dividends, writes Jon Benninger, vice president and market leader at Informa Markets.

Jon Benninger

November 20, 2022

2 Min Read
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This series looks back at the stories we were covering in Natural Products Insider 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5 years ago this month. In addition to providing some interesting history, I explore why these stories are still relevant today.

Then (October 2002): Twenty years ago, in November 2002, we reported the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s (CRN) Omega-3 Working Group ratified a voluntary monograph for long-chain omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) products marketed in North America. The group consisted of representatives from 24 companies who worked with industry, regulators, academics and consumer groups for more than a year.

The monograph specified a uniform standard of analysis, quality and purity criteria for the long-chain omega-3s EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexanoic acid). It also identified desirable limits for measures of oxidation in the oils, establishing maximum limits for peroxides and anisidine. The monograph also established stringent limits on remaining traces of contaminants such as dioxins, PCBs and heavy metals that were consistent with European standards and with California’s Prop 65. The CRN Working Group held a meeting at SupplySide West 2002 to discuss the new monograph with any interested attendees.

Now: This important self-regulatory effort lead by CRN 20 years ago has paid huge dividends for the omega-3 market, the overall dietary supplement industry, and for consumers of these products. This CRN Working Group evolved to become the new organization, Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), which was founded in 2006. Today, GOED has 170 members from the global omega-3 supply chain. 

This 20-year, ingredient-specific focus continues to set an example of success for how other ingredients and categories in the dietary supplement market can be advanced. Another success story in this area is the International Probiotics Association (IPA). I would like to see more ingredient-specific efforts like this within our industry, bringing together stakeholders from across the global supply chain for each ingredient.

A longtime industry leader, Len Monheit, has been working on this for some time, and via the Ingredient Transparency Center has established several ingredient-specific groups, including the Collagen Stewardship Alliance, the Global Curcumin Association, the Coconut Coalition of the Americas (CCA) and the Global Prebiotic Association. Based on the 20 years of positive impact on the omega-3 market from these visionary CRN and GOED efforts, I think the value of such efforts is clear.


About the Author(s)

Jon Benninger


Jon Benninger is vice president and market leader at Informa Markets. He focuses on the strategic direction and growth of the SupplySide portfolio, which includes SupplySide West, SupplySide East, Natural Products Insider and Food & Beverage Insider. He coordinates with leaders of the other Informa health and nutrition events and brands, including Natural Products Expo West, Vitafoods, Food ingredients, Nutrition Capital Network, Nutrition Business Journal and MarketReady Insights.

Benninger joined the company in 1995 as the founding editor of the company’s first trade magazine for the nutrition industry. In his free time, Jon loves to cook for family and friends; if you are ever in Phoenix and want to enjoy a meal, all you must do is choose a country, region, or city, and Jon will cook it for you.

Jon Benninger

VP & Market Leader – SupplySide


  • Helped launch the SupplySide business in 1995.

  • Active in industry associations and initiatives and leads strategic partnerships for SupplySide.

  • Cares deeply about supply chain, quality, and innovation issues that drive industry growth and success.


  • ABC Mark Blumenthal Community Builder Award, 2018

  • Vitamin Angels Grateful Acknowledgement for Supporting Global Children’s Health, 2018

  • AHPA Visionary Award, 2014

  • NPA Industry Champion Award, 2014

  • CRN Crystal Apple Award for Industry Leadership, 2010

Current Volunteer Positions

  • Board Chair and Board Trustee, Sonoran University of Health Sciences (formerly Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine)

  • Founder and Board Representative, Nutrition Advisory Council, Sonoran University of Health Sciences

  • Director’s Circle, American Botanical Council (ABC)

  • Communications Committee, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)

  • Communications & Media Outreach Committee, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN)

  • Company Council, International Association of Dietary Supplement Associations (IADSA)

  • Mentor, Women In Nutraceuticals

Past Volunteer Positions

  • President, Dietary Supplement Education Alliance, 2006 – 2008

  • Board of Directors, Dietary Supplement Education Alliance, 2001 – 2006

  • Board of Directors, Citizens for Health, 1999 – 2001

Speaker Credentials

  • "Trends in the US Market for Healthy and Functional Foods and Ingredients, Hi-Japan, Tokyo, 2019

  • “Trends Overview for Japanese Delegation to Natural Products Expo West” Anaheim, CA, 2019

  • “China: Impossible to Ignore” UNPA Member Retreat, Charleston SC, 2019

  • “Trends Overview for Japanese Delegation to Natural Products Expo West” Anaheim, CA, 2018

  • “Nutrition Industry Overview” US-China Business Exchange Dinner, Anaheim CA, 2018

  • “Industry Outlook: Market & Key Factors” National Enzyme Annual Meeting, Branson, MO, 2017

  • “State of the Human Dietary Supplement Industry” NASC Annual Conference, Austin, TX, 2016

  • “Consumer Concerns of Safety & Efficacy in Supplements” UNPA Member Retreat, Hawaii, 2016

  • “Nutrition, Health and Wellness Trends” Cactus IFT Meeting, Phoenix AZ, 2013

  • “Key Industry Events & Media in the US Market” World Ayurveda Congress, Bangalore, India, 2010

  • “Trends in the Dietary Supplement Industry” Pacific Technology Exchange, Los Angeles, 2010

  • “Succeeding in the US Market for Healthy Products” 4th Nutraceutical Summit, Mumbai, India, 2008

  • “Selling to the US Health Food Industry” Keynote Address, ANIPRON, Mexico City, 2007

  • 1997 – present: moderator/host at SupplySide events

  • 1997 – present: Frequent host/moderator of industry conference sessions, panel discussions & town halls

Resides in

  • Phoenix, AZ


  • Arizona State University, B.A Journalism, 1991


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