Puts Teeth into its Quality Standards Compliance Program
the leadership of Science and Quality Director Jill Ellis, the National
Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) launched three new quality
programs this year. In the past, the NNFA has been criticized for
garnering more controversy than results and for failing to enforce
its own quality standards.
with GMP standards
compliance with a GMP standard will be required of all supplier
members as of January 1st, 1999. Testing of this program is currently
underway. According to Ms. Ellis, the majority of their members
are on schedule for the January start date.
of TruLabel registration program
the TruLabel program requires that all supplier products being displayed
at the NNFA's annual Marketplace Expo must be registered with the
NNFA. Product registration must be accompanied by documentation
to substantiate product quality.
years, noncompliance was met with no negative consequences and thus
the program was seen as ineffective. However, NNFA officials enforced
the program at this year's show, held in San Antonio in July 1998.
Every supplier booth at the show was inspected -- and unregistered
products were immediately removed from display.
of independent, off-the-shelf testing results
independent testing has been stepped up on products that are reported
to be inconsistent with their labeling. The NNFA plans to issue
a report of products tested off-the-shelf, together with a list
of which brands passed and which brands failed.
someone claims that a particular brand name product does not contain
the substances shown on its label, the NNFA conducts independent
off-the-shelf testing of all brands containing that substance. If
the results show that a brand does not contain the substances and
amounts shown on the label, the NNFA notifies the manufacturer that
their product is deficient. The manufacturer is given a time period
in which to correct the product's content -- after which the NNFA
takes new samples off the shelf and retests.
of three outcomes will result from this testing:
- Brands that pass the initial testing will be listed as having
- Brands that fail the second test or for which the manufacturer
fails to respond to NNFA's notification of product deficiency
will be listed as having failed.
- Brands that fail the first test but correct and pass the second
test will not be mentioned in the report at all.
product is published as having failed to pass TruLabel testing,
it is expected that the resultant negative publicity would result
in an immediate drop in sales of that brand. Therefore, a high level
of compliance is expected.
and enforcing industry-wide standards for GMPs, quality documentation
and registration, and off-the-shelf testing, the NNFA is playing
a significant leadership role in establishing robust and reliable
quality standards throughout the industry.
Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA).