New Vitamin D Study Ignores Scientific Evidence And Medical Guidance From Around The World

A new study published in the medical journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology contradicts scientific research related to vitamin D’s importance in supporting bone mineral density and preventing fractures and falls in elderly adults.  Furthermore, these claims are at odds with the Food and Drug Administration’s Significant Scientific Agreement regarding health claims for vitamin D supplements and  the guidance from medical organizations around the world.

We were shocked when this study came out because of its total disregard for the wealth of scientific research and medical guidance in the U.S. and around the world.  Vitamin D is critical to supporting bone mineral density and a daily supplement at the advice of a doctor is an excellent way for people to get the right amount

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “too many Americans fall short of getting the amount of calcium they need every day and that can lead to bone loss, low bone density and even broken bones.”

Health organizations in the United States and around the world advocate for sufficient vitamin D intake:

  • The United States Food and Drug Administration guidance allowed on vitamin D supplements states that “adequate calcium throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.”
  • The 2011 Dutch Guideline on Osteoporosis and Fracture Prevention (CBO Guideline) advises in the case of patients taking medication to prevent fractures to aim for a total calcium intake (diet and supplements) of 1,000- 1,200 mg calcium per day and an intake of vitamin D supplements of 800 IU per day.
  • Canadian guidelines advise intake of 1,200 mg calcium daily in women 50 years and older and men 70 years and older. The vitamin D intake in elderly persons should be 1,000-1,200 IU daily.
  • The Australian guideline advises for women over 50 years of age a calcium intake of 1,300 mg per day and a vitamin D intake of 800 IE.

NPA Corrects the Record on Misleading Claim in U.S. News & World Report

A recent article published in U.S. News & World Report (“Health Supplements May Be Harming Your Kidneys,” 10/3/18), appropriately urges people who are considering taking a nutritional supplement to consult with their doctor before doing so.   After passing this valuable health advice along to readers, the narrative quickly turns to a suggestion that the nutritional supplements millions of Americans use every day to support their health are damaging their kidneys.  The author offers no evidence or statistics to support this claim.

It is also worth noting that our industry’s safety record is far superior to prescription and over the counter drugs or even conventional foods because of industry-wide consumer protections and our commitment to quality.  The leading cause of kidney disease in the U.S. is type II diabetes and high blood pressure.  Furthermore, there is a close link between kidney injury and popular pain medications that are available over-the-counter (OTC), including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

The government is required by law to track adverse events related to nutritional supplements and makes them available publicly online for any interested person to search.  We are confident a basic search will reveal that reports related vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements are dwarfed by OTC NSAIDs.

We feel compelled to reassure consumers that the vast majority of products they use every day, often at the advice of their doctor or medical professional, are safe and part of a balanced healthy lifestyle. Millions of Americans who take them safely each and every day are the best living proof.

Happy Summer

Citizen’s Petition on NF/SF Labeling

As I said last week we petitioned the agency. You can read it here and see the coverage here and here. The menu labeling rule got a three year stay to coordinate with the biotech rules so we figured no harm in borrowing that argument, plus a few others, added sugars and fiber. This is what your Trade Association should be doing for you. Thanks to the Dr. Hilmas and Richard Oparil at Porzio for their work on this. More to follow.

Big Natural Follow-up

Lots of good feedback from the event. The most written about session to date has been Rich Cleland’s “Marketing in the Natural Product Space – Thoughts and Recommendations”. Rich is always very insightful and thorough, and can truly debate the issues where the Commission and Industry may not see eye to eye as a true professional. As good as the slides are the talk was better so make sure you hold space in your calendar for the Big Natural next year. Thanks again Rich for making the time to present to the group.

Cleland’s Presentation

Busy Week at NPA

Amazon and Whole Foods.

Lots of questions.  A very interesting move indeed. First question from everyone is just what does this mean for everyone else in the natural business, from retail to supply-side, while of course it’s way too early to tell in most areas, effectively the Whole Foods in-house brand, just became the Amazon brand. To a great many this sets up the (shopping cart) battle of a “green/natural/organic” amazon brand versus other retail in-house brands and major CPG brands. If you think about that in a historical sense, an in-house “green/natural/organic” brand likely just surged past the traditional CPG brands and in-house brands in roughly one secular cycle (approx. 30 years). For investors this will likely trigger that the marketplace is still undervalued and opportunities for growth of other “green/natural/organic” in-house brands are significant. Stay tuned.

GAO Report on Memory Supplements.

Was a long time coming (yawn!) we were interviewed about it over a year ago. Click here and here

You Know What You Did.

We just filed: Citizen Petition to Stay and for Reconsideration of Final Rule entitled Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplemental Facts Labels, submitted on behalf of Natural Products Association more to come Monday.

Inside the Beltway.

Thanks again to @Sen_JoeManchin for coming by the NPA office this week.

Thoughts and prayers to all of those injuries in the shooting this week and their families. Esp. @SteveScalise

NPA Blog Update – The Big Natural

We’ll have a bunch of follow-up to come out of it over the coming weeks but I didn’t want to wait to show gratitude for everyone who attended and helped to support The Big Natural in Las Vegas last week. The NPA family keeps growing, and while there was excitement about the happenings (click here and click here), and rightfully so, there was even greater excitement about next steps, not just conversations, resulting in deliverables to come out of the event – deliverables consistent with our mission and tradition to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate, and grow their businesses.

So for all who were there, Thank you. You made it a tremendous success. For the rest of you, mark your calendars for 2018.

Back Again

Back again.

Big week for NPA this week, we’ll have a new board, per the bylaws so long as the accountants can make that happen in time, either way, thanks to the interim board. We will have an annual meeting for the first time in about 5-years, since Natural Marketplace was cancelled. While we won’t relive that history, the one question I get frequently is: that event sounds interesting, but there are lots of others, what’s different? To wit I respond, “this is an Association event, and any revenue raised from it goes to funding the Association’s activities.” Now before laughing at that, feel the hook in your cheek, because I know the next question. “Why should anyone care about the Association’s revenue to perform activities?” or “Why do I need an association?” While I can give multitudes of reasons why everyone in the industry should join NPA, I will back it up and just give six points in general to consider:

1) Advocacy, in this day and age where the government (state, federal, etc.) is going to find a way to tax you directly or indirectly, don’t you want a say in that? No taxation without representation is kind of a pillar of this country, so while we are involved in some direct tax issues, most of our time is spent fighting on behalf of the industry with regards to the increasing costs of compliance with ever expanding regulation, tort actions, etc. As an individual or singular business that stuff can make you feel pretty powerless, associations provide the opportunity to turn one small voice into a persuasive, collective shout;

2) Learning, you can get an edge over your competition by having access to exclusive experts, and receive training on important topics; 3) Networking, what you know matters, who you know matters too, and who you know that knows someone, never hurts;

4) Deals, our association has price breaks with all sorts of third-party providers, shipping, insurance, you name it, membership has its….I won’t say it;

5) Reputation, this one is simple, in general, are the companies in any industry who do the right things, members of trade associations or not? Of course they are members of trade associations. When one member opens themselves up to discussions and actions that put a company under the microscope, the companies willing to do such always seem to enhance their credibility as willing to step do the right thing. We all know about doing the right thing, it’s always the right thing; and

6) Individual Leadership, with increasing pressure in every aspect of business and an understanding of the limits of government to solve certain problems, where do solutions come from? They come from association members who are willing to step up and take initiative within the industry, allowing them to stand out. So I’m off the soap box now but would love to hear why you think being an association member is important.

Other items of note you may have already seen:

The United States intends to commence negotiations with Canada and Mexico regarding modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The NAFTA was negotiated more than 25 years ago, and, while our economy and U.S. businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not. The United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the U.S. economy by improving U.S. opportunities under NAFTA. Our specific objectives for this negotiation will comply with the specific objectives set forth by Congress in section 102 of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comments on matters relevant to the modernization of NAFTA in order to inform development of U.S. negotiating positions.

The deadline for submitting comments is June 12, 2017. If interested in submitting comments please contact NPA at

There will also be a public hearing on June 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. NPA plans to testify.



Blog #2

Two in a row. Hope you enjoyed the first one, if not you will definitely like this one, if not, then the third one, I promise.

Congress Directs FNS to Explore Use of Supplements in WIC  (on page 59)

WIC Eligibility of Multivitamins.—The Committee encourages FNS to prepare a report assessing the inclusion of vitamins eligible for purchase as part of the supplemental foods under the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC). Such report shall include: whether there are dietary deficiencies within the WIC population that could be enhanced through such inclusion; considerations regarding the implementation and possible health impacts of such inclusion; cost considerations related to such inclusion. This report shall be submitted to the Committee not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act.” Not sure why this hasn’t been given much fanfare, but if we are going to get serious about the growing malnutrition, health and wellness issues facing our country this could be a potential for real progress.  If proper nutritional supplementation isn’t at least a partial and affordable solution for those who aren’t getting what they need from a subsidized diet, than what is?  If the federal government recognizes the significant potential health and resource savings by helping those in need get proper nutrition, we can further demonstrate the great value our products deliver to millions of Americans who have access to them.  So I’m not sure why more aren’t excited about this first step? Get excited and email your elected officials about it, it only takes 30 seconds, you have 30 seconds, send the emails. I’ll show you how to do that tomorrow if you don’t already know. Another tease.

For those who prefer to be more pugilistic (I may be one of you), when doing our WIC/SNAP homework we found this, Eligible food items for SNAP:  Seems credible enough it’s a government source, right? The site says that DS aren’t eligible because of the 2008 Food and Nutrition Act. The reality is that the rule says no such thing. Whoops! While I’m not crying conspiracy. Crying doesn’t look good on me, I have emailed and asked how we can fix the inaccuracy. Please feel free to join me in doing that.

Happenings in D.C.

Was lucky to go to an event at the RSCC this am for Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas. Your personal political feelings aside it was an informative session. Discussed the agenda for this year, specifically Tax reform and Healthcare reform, no surprises there but was very clear on a number of other issues, two specifically stood out. The first is he said he is working very closely with the White House which if you told him that 8-months ago, he wouldn’t have believed it (kind of funny) and furthermore the communication from the White House is much better than it was under the last administration, even per his Democratic colleagues, though they’re still voting no on most everything. The second, is very relevant, it has to do with regulatory reform and the White House is looking for ideas, good ideas with “bang for the buck”, ideas that truly remove barriers for industries. IMHO, one of the biggest, if not the biggest are the States that have an activist plaintiff’s bar. We’ve already floated the idea of state preemption, but if you have other ideas, shoot me an email

Bye for now.

Welcome to my NPA blog. As this is the first entry, part of the foundation, of this communication vehicle, instead of prattling on about philosophy and what to expect, I figured I’d just fire out some information that may be of interest to you and yours from the world of dietary supplements, natural/organic, personal care, policy and so much more. I’ll prattle at a later date, I promise.

New FDA Commissioner Gottlieb Reorganizing Inspection Staff
Interesting to see how this rolls out, could be very good. The most effective way to oversee the supplement industry is to enforce the current law and aggressively pursue criminals that break it, so we applaud Dr. Gottlieb’s commitment to modernizing the FDA and making it more responsive to the consumers and manufactures of dietary supplements and natural products. Was a bit shocked that the former acting Commissioner (Dr. Califf) and I agreed on something. I’ll have more on him at a later date as he said some things on dietary supplements last week that were odd. I have heard that this is called a tease.

Washington Post confused on what’s healthy
My favorite part of the story is the picture where the cell phone is telling the woman in it what to eat.

Lactose Intolerance and Vit D levels link
Sounds like a case for supplementation because we all know, from Ron Burgundy that drinking milk in the heat/sunshine is a poor choice.

Bye for now.