Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA during the recent Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, Craven said that bad players – “these companies who make money now to pay the fines later” – account for about 5% of this industry, but they’re getting a disproportionately large amount of attention. Such companies may be non-compliant with GMPs or are producing tainted or adulterated products masquerading as dietary supplements.
Craven said that trade associations like CRN and UNPA are doing what they can, but said that any change is not going to come from DC. “Meaningful change has to come from good companies taking more of a leadership position,” he said.
“We tell our consumers where our products come from and we’re sharing Certificates of Analysis all the time.
“Transparency with a big T is the solution to many of the industry’s woes.”
‘The Non-GMO Project is pushing transparency into the supply chain’
Gaia Herbs and its CEO Ric Scalzo has been an inspiration from the transparency standpoint, said Craven, and he wants people to follow this lead. “The hard part is contract manufacturers. No contract manufacturer is going to be that transparent.
“Also, ingredient brokers don’t want to share sources, because it risks making them redundant. Transparency is going to be tough on the broker community.”
An area where transparency is vital is verification for the Non-GMO Project, and MegaFood currently has 42 products verified by the Non-GMO Project, along with 124 verified ingredients. “We’re killing it,” he said.
“The Non-GMO Project is pushing transparency into the supply chain,” he said. “A lot of companies will struggle with that, whereas I want it to be an accelerant to transparency.”