2023 ANNUAL REPORT — Executive Summary

See more details in our 2023 quarterly reports. | Download Executive Summary (PDF).

CRN addressed the challenges facing the dietary supplement and functional food industry with a balance of advocacy and diplomacy, informed by the insight our 50-year history provides, and driven by the energy of our dedicated staff of professionals in collaboration with our members. Our work is built on the foundation of our core values expressed by CRN’s Executive Committee that President & CEO Steve Mister highlighted in his 2023 annual conference address following an address from Board of Directors Chair Tara Martin:

  • An unwavering commitment to science as the basis for decision making
  • The recognition that reasonable regulation is necessary to foster consumer confidence and continued industry growth
  • Responsible self-regulation is preferable to government involvement and necessary to demonstrate a mature industry
  • Integrity must underly all we do—both as an industry and as an association
  • Our passion for wellness guides us—we are committed to better nutrition and health for all

Whether responding to FDA’s proposed reorganization plans, a Congressional inquiry on cannabidiol, a California legislator’s questions on titanium dioxide or onerous age restriction proposals throughout the states—just to name a few issues CRN addressed in 2023—our team of experts worked to protect and advance our dietary supplement and functional food industry members’ interests.

CRN engaged with FDA and FTC officials, following submissions of petitions on drug preclusion and claims substantiation, to clarify regulatory language that would allow for growth and innovation in the supplement space and ensure consumers have access to safe and beneficial products.

In addition, the CRN team worked to expand access to dietary supplements, advocating for FSA/HSA legislation, supported by new data on consumer use of these plans as well as the science-backed “Supplements to Savings” report.

CRN advanced its policy priorities and provided opportunities for networking and industry collaboration through its in-person gatherings. These included the WellComms event for marketing and communications professionals in the wellness space, the 11th annual Dietary Supplements Legal, Regulatory, and Compliance Forum, and the association’s Day on the Hill lobbying fly-in—culminating in the annual Science in Session and Now, New, Next 50th anniversary events that included a virtual fireside chat with FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D.


  • CRN met face-to-face with Jim Jones, FDA’s new deputy commissioner for Human Foods twice in 2023, as well as with other agency officials, and FTC leadership, maintaining working relationships that fostered dialog on critical issues including those for which CRN submitted citizen petitions.
  • CRN convened members for virtual and in-person meetings, providing opportunities for connection among like-minded industry colleagues.


  • CRN presented several educational webinars throughout 2023 on topics such as protecting brands  from counterfeit sales on Amazon and beyond, FTC’s Health Products Compliance Guidance updates, plastic pollution prevention and packaging producer responsibility—and more.
  • CRN educated a range of stakeholders about supplements and functional foods, for example, addressing congressional questions on CBD as well as Government Accountability Office questions on prenatal vitamins.
  • CRN pushed back on countless instances of inaccurate representations of the state of dietary supplement regulation, providing journalists and other stakeholders with the facts that dietary supplements are regulated by FDA and FTC.
  • CRN published results of its annual Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, with data supporting the mainstream status of these products and the essential role they play in supporting wellness.


  • CRN submitted citizen petitions to FDA and FTC calling for clarification of the drug preclusion clause and the Health Products Compliance Guidance, respectively, discussion and next steps are ongoing.
  • CRN called for consideration of supplementation recommendations in 2025–2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans currently in development.
  • CRN successfully pushed back on age-restriction legislation in several states, including commissioning and disseminating science-based evidence in opposition, and continues to work to mitigate the impact of passed legislation in New York.
  • CRN worked to limit the scope of legislation and protect the dietary supplement industry from state proposals seeking to ban titanium dioxide.
  • CRN supported the introduction of the bipartisan Dietary Supplements Access Act that seeks to provide greater choices to consumers by allowing them to use Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) including co-commissioning an Ipsos consumer study of FSA/HSA engagement.
  • CRN commented on FDA’s “Dietary Guidance Statements in Food Labeling: Draft Guidance for Industry” among other regulatory proposals.protein powder


  • CRN engaged members in self-regulatory efforts around updates to its melatonin guidelines, gummy format supplements, and more—including adopting E-Commerce Voluntary Guidelines.
  • CRN, through its international arm, CRN-International, convened stakeholders for a symposium held in conjunction with the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) meeting, publishing a conference report, “Advancing Nutrition Science to Meet Evolving Global Health Needs,” in the European Journal of Nutrition.

And more—see our 2023 quarterly reports for details.

As CRN President & CEO Steve Mister wrote in a December 2023 NutraIngredients-USA.com article, CRN strategically did more than simply co-exist with regulators and legislators, collaborating when appropriate and challenging when needed. 


Explore our 2023 annual report pages | Download the full report (PDF) | Meet CRN's Senior Team