CRN Responds to Dateline NBC Report on Dietary Supplements

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 19, 2012In response to Dateline NBC’s story concerning dietary supplements, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry, issued the following statement:

Statement by Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN:

Dateline NBC raised some serious issues in its investigative report. We are concerned, as any industry would be, when a few companies engaging in fraudulent and criminal activity overshadow the legitimate products sold by responsible companies.

But the fact is more than 150 million Americans take dietary supplements each year as part of their health regimens—with little evidence of widespread adulteration, contamination of ingredients, or serious adverse events—and with a demonstrated wide margin of safety.

However, let’s be clear: By law, every single bottle of dietary supplements should contain what is on the label and what is on the label should be in the bottle. We take seriously the allegations raised by this television program of fraudulent laboratory practices, and urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use its ample legal authority to take legal action against the companies involved in these illegal activities.

Responsible companies follow the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) regulations that became fully effective in 2010. These rules prescribe step-by-step requirements for the manufacturing and testing of dietary supplements—from the raw ingredients coming into a plant to the finished products headed for consumers—and place absolute responsibility on the manufacturers and distributors, including the actions of any testing labs they hire.

We call on FDA to take strong enforcement action against both the companies and the testing labs who do not make safety their top priority, and we advise consumers to choose wisely when purchasing supplement products; ask your healthcare practitioner what supplements are right for you, buy from companies with strong reputations, and seek out products from companies you know and trust.”

For more consumer advice, please read our consumer tip sheet.

Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our 75+ manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit