Washington D.C.— On March 20, 2020, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) have submitted a letter to the nation’s governors, focused how dietary supplements qualify as essential.
CRN shared that this letter is in continuation of its efforts to communicate with elected officials at the federal and state level. Read more on CRN’s efforts here.
The letter states: On March 16th, the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the “Coronavirus Guidelines for America” which included directives on how to slow the spread of the virus over the next few weeks. Part of the guidance included a recognition of “critical infrastructure” that must continue to operate during this time including “healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply.” We strongly agree that food and healthcare product manufacturers have a central role to play in the fight against this pandemic. Provided employers comply with CDC guidelines to protect workers, food and healthcare product manufacturers have the special responsibility to maintain their current work schedules.
The trade groups explain that dietary supplements qualify as essential because of their unique position as both food and healthcare products, and they point to CRN’s Annual Survey, which found 77% of Americans take dietary supplements. The letter also points to a report showing that this $46 billion industry provides billions more in healthcare cost savings as consumers reduce their risk of certain chronic disease through supplement usage.
“Now more than ever,” the trade associations wrote, “consumers need to access dietary supplements to assure they receive proper nutrition, maintain their immune health, receive proper sleep, promote bone and heart health, and proactively reduce their risk of certain chronic diseases without burdening an already overstretched healthcare system. Dietary supplements help consumers achieve all these ends.”
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The trade groups request that the nation’s governors mirror the White House/CDC guidelines, and “make special accommodation for critical infrastructure industries that specifically include not only conventional foods but all subcategories of food, including dietary supplements, infant formulas, medical foods and spices and flavors.”