Industry trade organization Organic & Natural Health Association met with the New York Attorney General’s office April 15 in an effort to bridge communication gaps between consumers who want quality dietary supplement and herbal products and the companies that make them.
The meeting was set in response to the comprehensive investigation of herbal products being led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“Our meeting was encouraging, as it is clear we have common goals that revolve around ensuring consumers are purchasing products that can be verified for quality ingredients at the earliest possible point in the manufacturing process,” said Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of Organic & Natural. “There has been an over emphasis on scrutinizing testing methods by the natural products industry when the real issue at hand is elevating transparency to the point that consumers feel fully informed and empowered by their purchase. This can only be accomplished through honest relationships and full disclosure between companies and consumers.”
Industry leaders and experts who were frustrated with the lack of transparency between business and consumer groups when it comes to quality organic and natural products formed Organic & Natural just last year. Since its launch in October, the group has worked toward developing a certification program for “natural” products, including forging a definition of the term “natural” based on consensus among business and consumer organizations; and facilitating scientific research on supplement ingredients and products that impact a person’s health and wellbeing.
Organic & Natural is the first trade organization to meet with the New York Attorney General’s office on his investigation into the herbal supplement industry.
During the meeting, Todd Harrison, partner at Venable LLP and president of Organic & Natural, agreed that there is common ground between industry and the state’s attorney general in regards to ensuring appropriate measures are taken to safeguard the integrity around the industry’s supply chain. He said both sides should work with each other as well as with the FDA to achieve that common goal.
Organic & Natural plans to host a supply chain integrity webinar for companies within the industry on June 24.