Washington, D.C. — The Supplement Online Wellness Library (OWL), created by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and developed and administered by UL is officially live, one year after its announcement and a period of beta testing. “Last month, during Expo West, it was heartening to witness the high level of awareness about the Supplement OWL and exhilarating to be surrounded by the industry buzz,” said CRN CEO Steve Mister in a press release. “We credit those thought leaders who recognized the importance of an industry-wide registry that would fill a gap for regulators, and we commend those companies who wanted to be—and are—part of the first wave of labels available in the product registry. Together, we gained consensus around a dietary supplement registry, we built it, and now we’re ready to make it grow.”
The public is now free to explore the site which features two tiers of participation by manufacturers. The first tier is free and features a product image, a complete product label and other fields of information, obtained from the label itself. Companies will pay a fee to participate in the second tier which allows them to provide more detailed information and documentation about their products and to choose who will have access to that information. CRN has been marketing this tool as one predominantly as a resource for the regulator but consumers and retailers benefit greatly from the Supplement OWL simply by seeing the companies that are choosing to be transparent. CRN hopes that the library will grow to the point that consumers will question why a company hasn’t submitted their labels.
Various trade groups endorsed the Supplement OWL earlier this month, including the American Botanical Council, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, and the Natural Products Association. “We anticipate there will be additional expressions of public support,” said Mister in the press release. “It’s the right thing to do, especially at a time when some anticipate government will seek to reduce industry regulation. That’s when we have our best opportunity to proactively find ways to raise the bar for this industry.”