By Dr. Vasilios H. Frankos, Ph.D., Sr. Corporate Advisor Product Science, Safety & Compliance, Herbalife Nutrition
May 17, 2017
Finding What You’re Searching For
If you’re like many conscientious shoppers, you probably read the labels of the products you buy before making an informed purchase. But when you buy protein powders, herbal formulas, probiotics and other products, chances are your eyes probably glaze over when reading the labels. How do you know for sure if the products have the ingredients and dosage you want? Where can you compare products you’re thinking of buying to find the one that suits you best? What it often boils down to is trusting that the brands you buy guarantee the ingredients are what they say they are and in the proper formula. It is that trust which guides us at Herbalife Nutrition and makes us an industry leader with proven results. That’s why I’m excited to let you know about an innovative program we’re a leading participant in called The Supplement Online Wellness Library (OWL).
Why OWL is Important to You
Until now, searching for specific ingredients in dietary supplements was difficult at best. That’s why the dietary supplement industry – in partnership with the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) – developed this new voluntary online product registry to give a more complete picture of the marketplace for government, private stakeholders and consumers. The database is managed by UL (Underwriters Laboratories), the trusted 120-year-old global independent safety science company that is the gold standard for the safety and efficacy of products.
OWL is important because it’s founded in transparency and accountability. For the first time consumers can compare dietary supplements with credible and verifiable information. Using the OWL search function, you can now find specific information about ingredients and brands. That means you can begin to make even better, informed decisions regarding your health and wellness.
OWL offers two tiers of information. Participation in Tier 1 includes an image of the product, a complete product label and other fields of information, obtained principally from the label itself. Importantly, there is no charge to participate in Tier 1. Tier 2 allows companies to upload additional supporting information and documentation about their products and to choose who will have access to that information.
Setting Industry Standards
Even though most of what the OWL program does is behind the scenes, it’s yet another guarantee that what we do as an industry is always worthy of our valued customers’ confidence. Respected organizations such as the American Botanical Council, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the Natural Products Association are avid supporters. Participation in OWL reflects a company’s commitment to transparency and confidence that its products are compliant with label regulations, accountable to its customers and not afraid of close scrutiny.
People often ask me why I joined Herbalife Nutrition, and the answer is simple. I wanted to continue my career with a company that treats its customers the same way I protected consumers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in my 15-year career at the agency. My team at Herbalife Nutrition is responsible for evaluating the safety and benefit of all our products, as well as providing consumer support through monitoring product complaints worldwide.
The trust you place in the products you consume, regardless where you buy your dietary supplements and meal replacements, are open for your review at OWL. As an active member of CRN, Herbalife Nutrition is leading the way to ensure consumers have access to this information. I encourage you to find out more at www.supplementOWL.org.