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2011 State of the Industry Review

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nutraceuticalsThis year FDA and FTC flexed their enforcement muscles. FDA was particularly active with regard to GMP inspections, spiking and adulteration issues and New Dietary Ingredients (NDIs), while FTC was busy slapping companies for misleading claims. Companies by now should be realizing that if they intend to operate in this marketplace, they must take these agencies very seriously—their future depends on it.

Across the pond, the European claims regulations have raised concerns for the natural products industry. It looks as if the environment will become more stringent for the future and many experts believe innovation will stall and business will falter as a result.

Elsewhere, there are many opportunities knocking with regard to dietary supplements and functional foods, especially in developing markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, or the BRIC countries. Blessed with more disposable income, consumers in these regions are turning their attention toward our industry’s products. As regulations catch up to consumer demand, expect a thriving market for these products during the next several years.

“The nutritional supplement industry entered 2011 with more focus and direction than it had in years. With cGMP’s firmly in place, AER’s defined and the realization that this industry could weather the current recession, industry took to peering into its crystal ball with intentions of moving forward. That crystal ball quickly turned into a snow globe in July when the long awaited NDI guidance was released by FDA. While eyes remain aimed at the future and innovation is still the desire, the vision is clouded by uncertainty until the blurry climate settles and clarity can once again be realized. It is time for us as an industry to work together with government and consumers to restore the clearness of vision we need to focus on the good we strive to provide.”—Scott Steinford, President, ZMC USA