This blog was provided by and paid for by OmniActive Health Technologies.
You have a heart of gold and a savvy mind—and the products that you buy reflect that. Safety, traceability, sustainability and social stewardship are driving the purchase decisions of conscientious consumers and that means product transparency is paramount for retailers and manufacturers alike. So how do we know that our hard-earned dollars are going to products which uphold the principles that we ourselves hold dear? Here are some things that you can look for:
- It’s on the shelf…but is it safe: The natural product industry is changing, with regulatory agencies placing strict guidelines to better oversee a rapidly growing market place. Gone are the days of the “wild west” supplement market, and what has emerged in its place is a focus on science, GMPs, certifications and verifications. One reliable way to find out if an ingredient is safe is to check if it has safety studies or is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), which means that the ingredient supplier has had all the necessary research performed and a safety review conducted by an expert panel.
- How it’s made: Living organisms whose genetic material which has been genetically engineered or altered in a lab are known as GMOs (genetically modified organisms). More than ever, consumers are looking for their products to be produced using non-GMO ingredients and the most recognizable and trusted organization is the Non-GMO Project (many recognize it from its logo with the little orange butterfly). Non-GMO Project Verified means that the ingredient or product has gone through rigorous third-party analysis to ensure its true non-GMO status.
- Process. Process: Traceability is important to ensure that an ingredient is handled—from seed to sale—under the best possible standards. A fully vertically integrated supply chain means that a supplier has started from the ground up—from the farms, to harvest, all the way through the dehydration, extraction, and purification processes and finally with the final ingredient. Vertical integration also allows for efficiencies and many times promotes sustainable, transparent practices. When the ingredient changes multiple hands, something is lost in the process. Fortunately, those companies who adhere to full vertical integration can trace their ingredient all the way back to its source. The internet is a treasure trove of details that may not be on the package. Do a little hunting and you can find out if an ingredient is produced under the stringent watch of a vertically-integrated supply chain.
- Empowering others through your purchases: Now that you know how your ingredient is sourced, it is important to look at who it is sourced from and under what conditions. Many companies are taking the charge of social responsibility by creating initiatives that are not only fair, but help uplift rural farmers and laborers as well as their families such as The Improving Lives Foundation™ which provides eye exams, and helps assist with nutrition, sanitation and hygiene efforts. By purchasing products that formulate with ingredients which support small farmers and their communities, you are becoming an agent of progress and change.
Looking for the right supplement goes beyond just dosage. And knowing what to look for allows you to make the purchase decision that’s just right for you and what you stand for.
Sara Zoet is currently a Global Marketing Coordinator at OmniActive Health Technologies. Sara has worked in both pharmaceutical advertising as well as in the natural products industry, with specialized experience in content and copywriting as well as project management, event planning, and branding.