CRN focuses on 3 talking points in Congressional outreach


WASHINGTON — The foundation on which the Council for Responsible Nutrition is basing its Congressional outreach this year is based on three elements: Incorporating dietary supplementation into the bedrock of any federal policy that promotes health and wellness; highlighting the many ways the dietary supplement industry is seeking to augment government oversight through self-regulation initiatives; and enjoining Congressional leaders to participate in an ongoing dialogue with VMS industry.

Already CRN has made significant progress in connecting to the 60 freshman Congressional leaders within the first 100 days, a promise CRN president and CEO Steve Mister shared with Drug Store News at the top of the year.

"This year, we’re focused on trying to get multivitamins included in the SNAP program. The Farm Bill will come up for reauthorization in 2018, and that’s when they’ll reauthorize the food stamp program," Mister told DSN. "We have to start work on that now; we can’t wait until 2018. We’ve got a lot of opportunity this year to build that position, talking about why low-income people need to have access to multivitamins."

“It’s vital to CRN’s mission that we take the time to build and foster relationships with members of Congress, especially newcomers to Capitol Hill,” added Mike Greene, SVP government relations, CRN. “These critical meetings give CRN and its members the opportunity to engage with elected officials and clarify common misconceptions that they, and their constituents, may have about the industry. Our message is clear: dietary supplements are safe, regulated and enhance the wellness regimens of more than 170 million Americans.”'

One of CRN’s top priorities this year is to highlight and promote legislation that would allow consumers to purchase dietary supplements using their Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts. “CRN is also enthusiastic about building support and moving legislation forward that would allow low-income Americans to use their SNAP benefits to purchase a multivitamin supplement. It’s important that all consumers, regardless of socioeconomic status, have affordable access to the products they and their families need to live healthier lives,” Greene said.

To underline the value of industry self-regulatory initiatives, CRN will highlight the Supplement OWL, an industry-wide dietary supplement product registry, as an example of industry self-regulation that complements and enhances government regulations and laws already in place.

CRN will also urge the new legislators to join the bipartisan, bicameral Dietary Supplement Caucus as a way to engage and maintain impactful dialogue about dietary supplement/functional food issues most relevant to Congress and their constituents.

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