Ann Harbor, Michigan-based NSF International, a global independent public health organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the commercial and consumer goods, health sciences, food and water industries created the Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA) earlier this year to develop consensus-based standards for dietary supplements, cosmetics/personal care products, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medical devices.
Combining retailer and regulatory requirements into a single standard and auditing program for each product category will help reduce audits and costs while strengthening safety, quality and trust throughout the supply chain, reported the NSF, noting the first retailer standard is anticipated to be for dietary supplements and available in early 2015.
The GRMA team, led by quality and safety experts from leading supermarkets, drugstore chains, mass merchandisers and club stores including: Ahold USA, Costco, Daymon Worldwide, Walgreens, Walmart and Wegmans, developed a blueprint to create standardized requirements for each product category, according to the NSF.
Kevan P. Lawlor, international president and CEO, NSF, said retailers meet regulatory compliance but are under constant pressure to reduce risk and protect their brands. “Our goal at NSF International is to provide rigorous and robust standards to mitigate risk for both retailers and manufacturers while verifying that the highest safety and quality standards are met to increase consumer trust,” said Lawlor.
Additionally, utilizing insights from industry experts such as the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ) and NSF International led to the creation of formal ANSI standard notifications, the first step in the standards development process, reported NSF, noting they have a 70-year scientific and technical legacy in conformity assessment, compliance, testing and development of consensus-based standards and is recognized as such by the GRMA.
Working with the retailers and manufacturers in the GRMA as well as regulators and other testing laboratories, NSF will further define a standardized auditing approach focused on consistency, integrity, compliance and quality practices. The standards will utilize relevant regulations as a foundation while also encompassing additional retailer requirements. The applicable regulations will serve as a baseline for each standard including the relevant parts of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act as well as:
- Dietary supplements: Current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) in Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling, Holding Operations for Dietary Supplements (Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 111).
- Cosmetics/personal care products: ISO 22716 and U.S. FDA Cosmetic GMP Guidance encompassing GMPs for the production, control, storage and shipment of cosmetic products.
- OTC drug products: GMPs in manufacturing, processing, packing or holding of drugs for finished pharmaceuticals (21 CFR 210 & 211).
- Medical devices: Quality Systems/GMPs for medical devices (21 CFR 820).
For more information, visit www.nsf.org.