CRN Applauds FTC Announcement Against Illegal CBD Products—Reminder to all of need for legal pathway to market for CBD in dietary supplements

Washington, D.C., December 17, 2020 – In response to an announcement issued today by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding deceptive marketing of CBD products, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement: 

Statement by Steve Mister, President & CEO, CRN: 

“CRN commends the FTC for taking action to protect consumers by calling out marketers making illegal and unsubstantiated scientific claims on cannabidiol (CBD) products. We remind industry that CBD when marketed as a supplement may not claim to treat, cure, prevent or mitigate any disease, and any claims must be substantiated with competent and reliable scientific evidence. CRN supports strong enforcement action from FDA and FTC against companies who market CBD products with illegal or unsubstantiated claims. 

“This recent announcement is another reminder to all of the need to establish a legal pathway to market for CBD dietary supplements. As consumer interest in CBD grows, more products continue to come to market. Many products come from responsible manufacturers that comply with federal regulations. However, these responsible products must compete with unsafe and illegal products from less reputable companies, some of which are poorly manufactured, make illegal disease claims, are improperly labeled or contain unsafe adulterants. 

“To help protect the safety of the public, CRN renews its repeated and persistent petition to FDA to exercise the statutory discretion provided to it in the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. As we have pointed out in testimony supporting legislation, meetings with the agency, position papers, remarks at open forums, and in our Citizen’s Petition, this would allow CBD to be marketed as a dietary supplement and impose the legal and regulatory requirements that currently exist for other dietary supplements to CBD products marketed as supplements. That action—and that action alone—will allow the FDA and FTC to truly protect the consumer in this rapidly growing market.

“CRN continues to be an industry leader in CBD by enacting federal and state legislative strategies. In June, the association submitted a Citizen’s Petition formally calling on FDA to regulate CBD as a legal dietary supplement. Additionally, we are strong advocates for H.R. 8179, the Hemp and Hemp Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2020 and continue to urge Congress to pass this critical legislation. CRN also issued a new position paper calling for consistent, harmonized framework for state CBD regulation. We will continue to monitor and comment on CBD state regulations and urge state legislatures to adopt federal policy when it comes to CBD dietary supplements.”

Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit Follow us on Twitter @CRN_Supplements and LinkedIn