Media Kit - TruLabel Program

Federal law requires manufacturers of all foods and dietary supplements to ensure that the products they put on the market are safe. While consumers would like to assume every product offered in the marketplace meets the highest manufacturing quality standards, it is the establishment of industry guidelines, or good manufacturing practices (GMPs), that often are a consumer's best assurance of quality and purity.

With the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gained the power to require dietary supplements to meet strict manufacturing requirements. In 1995, representatives of the dietary supplement industry submitted to the FDA a suggested outline for the development of GMP regulations for dietary supplements. The industry's suggestions were reviewed by the FDA and published for public comment in 1997 to determine whether there was a need for such government regulation.

NPA Takes the Lead
Assuring the public of product quality and label integrity in the dietary supplement industry are key objectives of the Natural Products Association. Without waiting for the establishment of government regulations, NPA as the industry's oldest and largest trade association with more than 1,900 dietary supplement manufacturer, distributor and retailer members, developed and is enforcing its own good manufacturing practices within its membership.

Modeled after the recommended GMP guidelines the industry submitted to the FDA in 1997, the NPA's GMP program is a third-party certification program that includes inspections of manufacturing facilities to determine whether NPA-specified performance standards are being met. These standards include specifications for staff training, cleanliness, equipment maintenance, record keeping and receiving of raw materials. Once certified, manufacturers are then allowed to use NPA's GMP seal on their products.

Peace of Mind for Consumers
While not all dietary supplement suppliers and manufacturers are NPA members, the GMP seal gives consumers a way to identify those products that are monitored for quality. In late 1999, the NPA GMP seal began to appear on the labels and marketing materials of certified NPA member products.

Truth in Labeling
NPA's efforts to develop and implement industry education and certification programs did not start with Good Manufacturing Practices. Since 1990, all NPA members that manufacture dietary supplements and herbs under their own label have been required to participate in NPA's TruLabel program.

The TruLabel program is the industry's most expansive and successful self-regulatory program, with more than 25,000 product labels currently registered as part of the program. As part of the program, NPA member products are randomly tested for "label integrity" to ensure that what's claimed on the label is in the product.