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Ask the supplier

Questions to ask
January 1999

You can encourage the development of higher quality standards by asking questions of the suppliers from whom you buy supplements. You'll have better information with which to judge the products you buy and assurance that the quality you seek is available at a reasonable price.

Resellers (retailers, distributors, health care providers) can all help in this effort as well. By insisting on clear, forthright answers to questions about a product's health benefits, safety, and production quality, manufacturers become predisposed to devote more attention to quality.

There are usually several companies involved in bringing a product to market, all of whom play a part in quality assurance. Understanding the dietary supplement supply chain (grower to component supplier, to producer to distributor, to retail shelves) provides insights into how to ask questions about the quality of a product.

By asking a manufacturer questions, each subordinate link in the chain is encouraged to respond by documenting the quality process in their operations. Thus quality production is encouraged throughout the supply chain. Consumer and trade organizations create support for quality by publishing and supporting their own standards. These actions form a foundation for creating enhanced quality without introducing levels of government regulation that would place increased burdens on producers, discourage innovation and research, and drive up consumer prices. Click on a section heading to the right for guidance on questions you might want to ask, or the next page buttons for continuous reading.

 

next page The process of manufacturing dietary supplements starts with either mining or growing the materials from which supplements are made.

 

 

   
 

More about asking the supplier:

Supply chain: From raw materials to consumer shelves

Questions to ask

Raw ingredients

Warehousing and storage

Manufacturing process

Testing

Efficacy research

Other considerations

Company background and context

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(c) Copyright 1999-2003 Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative. For permission to reprint, please contact our editor.