History & Timeline of NPA

The Natural Products Association from Humble Beginnings to Present

Throughout its history, NPA has worked tirelessly to promote and protect its members, their businesses, and their important role in the health of all Americans. In fact, barely two years after the formation of NPA in 1936 (then called the National Health Food Association), Congress passed the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This important law, which the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act amended more than 50 years later, would form the basis from which various regulations were issued governing the natural products industry.

NPA has come a long way in 80+ years and is stronger than ever. Social changes, economic periods of hardship and prosperity, technological progress, and changing leadership in the federal government have contributed to the evolution of the natural products industry. But what has remained constant is the dedication of NPA members. NPA represents over 1,000 members accounting for more than 10,000 retail, manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution locations of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids.

An Association is Born

It wasn’t long after the first vitamin was isolated in 1911 that the health food industry began to emerge. By the 1920s and 1930s many of the pioneer companies in the industry, some of whom are still in business, were in full operation. In fact, the 1930s have sometimes been referred to as the “Golden Age” of the health food industry. (Frank Murray, More Than One Slingshot)



In 1936, Anthony Berhalter, a baker located in Chicago, Ill., began organizing a group that would 40 years later be called the Natural Products Association. This group, which initially had a consumer membership, consisted of suppliers of natural food ingredients. They would form an organization to better inform consumers about the benefits of the natural nutrition industry. The group was called the American Health Foods Association (AHFA, which after several name changes over the years became the Natural Products Association).

The inaugural issue of Health Food Retailing is published. Some consider it the first publication of the nascent nutrition industry. In February 1939, it declares itself the official publication of the association.


In the spring of 1937, Anthony Berhalter set up a convention of some 10 to 15 booths at the old Auditorium Hotel in Chicago. Some of the 150 in attendance felt that a new organization should be formed to encompass retailers, manufacturers and distributors, rather than consumers. Although not everyone agreed, an organizing committee was elected to form the new organization. After working all night, the committee presented a constitution and bylaws the next day to those who wanted the new trade association. It was approved and the new organization, the National Health Foods Association … today the NPA … was born.


The association holds its second trade show. Held at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago, the convention attracts more than 1,000 consumers and industry members.

Congress passes the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which is the first regulation to establish labeling requirements and daily minimum requirements for several vitamins and minerals.



NHFA becomes the National Dietary Foods Association (NDFA).


NDFA holds its convention at the Hotel Continental in Chicago. An educational highlight is a detailed explanation of the food and drug regulations by Ralph R. Kneeland, a representative from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


Kordel v. United States. This court decision was used by the FDA in the 1950s to expand the usual definition of “labeling” to include any materials sold or made available by a merchant that tended to promote a specific product.



The annual convention, held in the Hotel Book-Cadillac in Detroit, showcases nearly 100 exhibitors and more than 300 attendees. At the convention, results of a survey of health food retailers are released and reveal that vitamins and minerals make up 34 percent of the profits, while “dietetic” foods comprise 26.5 percent.


At a pharmacists’ convention in Philadelphia, attendees vote to press for legislation making all vitamins, minerals, and food supplements available only in drug stores.


The PELLL, or Public Relations, Education, Legal, Legislation and Lobbying, program is unanimously adopted to counter attacks against industry in the media and public spheres and harmful legislation that had appeared in the last few years in Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York.

Adelle Davis, a nutritional pioneer and eventual author of several books on nutrition, addresses the industry for the first time.


It is reported that a Minnesota law requiring vitamins to be sold in pharmacies has been overturned. Vitamins can now be sold in any food store in that state.


Regional health food associations have notably grown by now. Three of the most active, the Northern California Nutritional Foods Retailers Association, the Southern California Nutritional Association, and the Northwest Dietary Foods Association, hold the West Coast Dietary Foods Fair in Portland, Ore.

The Food Additives Amendment to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is passed. It includes restrictive measures such as prohibiting the use of several minerals in supplement preparations.



At the annual convention, NDFA members are warned of the threat of proposed FDA regulations, which would severely restrict industry. The law firm of Bass & Friend, headed by industry advocate Milton Bass, Esq., is retained to represent NDFA in the fight against these regulations.


The FDA attempts to curb the sale of nutritionally fortified sugar, arguing that it has the statutory authority to dictate to the American public what it can purchase in terms of ingredients and potencies.

NDFA countered that the FDA is exceeding its authority given to it by Congress. NDFA wins and the federal judge expressly forbids the FDA from imposing its nutritional philosophy on the American public.

“The implementation of sound nutritional principles and the encouragement or discouragement of the consumption of particular foods in accordance with these principles, are matters for consumer education, not for legal enforcement. . . .”
(U.S. vs 119 Cases, More or Less. . . New Dextra Brand Fortified Cane Sugar 231.F.Supp. (D. FLA. 1963).

NDFA’s legal counsel (Bass & Friend) is hired in the 1960s to challenge the seizure of books by FDA from Balanced Foods Company for making health claims for vinegar and honey. Bass wins the appeal decision on Nov. 18, 1964 because the FDA failed to prove that the Jarvis books had functioned as promotional materials. The Balanced Foods decision was a landmark case that placed an effective roadblock against the Kordel decision and its use.


In a speech before the U.S. Senate, Senator Edward V. Long (D-Mo.) says, “If the FDA would spend a little less time on…small manufacturers of vitamins…and a little more on the manufacturers of dangerous drugs…the public would be better served.”

Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) is passed. The FDA requires all consumer commodities to be labeled to disclose net contents, identity, name and place of business of the product’s manufacturer, packer or distributor.


The FDA announces a new proposed regulation (Vitamin and Mineral Regulation) on June 18 in the Federal Register, which would go into effect on Dec. 15, 1966. The FDA declares that future regulations would ban all mention of dietary supplement sources, be they natural or synthetic (the consumer would no longer have the right to find out from what substances a dietary supplement was made). The FDA also wanted to ban truthful statements on health food supplements.

NDFA would challenge the FDA’s ban on truthful statements made in labeling. NDFA begins a retailer-driven postcard campaign and uses a full-page ad in The Washington Post to denounce the 1966 Vitamin and Mineral Regulation.

The FDA bans the term “natural.”

NDFA challenges the FDA’s proposal to ban informing consumers on sourcing, citing that most manufacturers and retailers of supplements wish to inform the consumer precisely what ingredients are contained in their products.


The FDA publishes proposed regulations for labeling and content of dietary supplements; however, public opposition forces further hearings that last into the early 1970s.

NDFA merges with the American Dietary Retailers Association.

Vitamin Wars (1962-1977)

A 15-year battle began in 1962 between NDFA’s legal counsel (Milton Bass and Robert Ullman) and the FDA, culminating in the Vitamin Bill, a monumental victory for NDFA and all Americans.

NNFA v. Weinberger, 491 F.2d 845 (2d Cir. 1973)
NNFA v. FDA 491 F.2d 1141 (2d Cir. 1974)
NNFA v. Weinberger, 376 F.Supp. 142 (S.D.N.Y.1974)remanded, 512 F.2d 688 (2d Cir.)
NNFA v. Mathews, 423 U.S. 827, 96 S.Ct. 44, 46 L.Ed.2d
44 (1975)
NNFA v. Mathews, 418 F.Supp. 394 (S.D.N.Y.1976)
NNFA v. Mathews, 557 F.2d 325 (2nd Cir. 1977)

Vitamin-Mineral Hearings (1966-1973)

NDFA quickly moved to file objections and request a series of hearing known as the “Vitamin and Mineral Hearings”. Complete disregard of the evidence by the Hearing Examiner forced NDFA and its legal counsel of Bass & Ullman to take up a series of long, exhausting, and expensive legal challenges to prevent FDA from exploiting its gains in the “Findings of Fact”. NDFA legal counsel presented numerous factual FDA errors in the now famous document “Proposed Findings of Fact”.



At the annual convention in New Orleans, NDFA officially becomes the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA).


The FDA makes an assault on vitamins, announcing its intention to prevent retailers from selling supplements containing over 10,000 IU of vitamin A or 400 IU of vitamin D after years of considering limits for A and D in the 1960s.

NNFA challenges this by writing FDA Commissioner Charles Edwards. Today, the FDA has enforced on limits exceeding 100,000 IU on the grounds of adverse event reports for hypervitaminosis.

Senator William Proxmire, a long-time health advocate, delivers the keynote address at the NNFA annual convention in Washington, D.C.


Thirteen days into his FDA tenure after Dr. Charles Edwards stepped down, FDA Commissioner Alexander M. Schmidt signs the hotly contested Aug. 2, 1973 Final Regulations, which embodies all of the regulatory theories in the 1966 Vitamin and Mineral Proposed Regulation of the previous
FDA administration.

The FDA publishes final regulations classifying any supplements stronger than 150 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance as drugs.


In the 1973 Vitamin Mineral Final Regulation, the FDA says
that if a dietary supplement listed a vitamin or mineral on the label it is considered not to be essential to human health, then the product is misbranded. The FDA states that vitamin E and zinc are not essential nutrients during this battle. Recommended Daily Allowences (RDAs) would later be established for them.

NNFA begins an intensive lobbying campaign in Congress against the FDA. Rep. Craig Hosmer (R-CA) introduces a bill to prevent the FDA from limiting the potency, number or variety of combinations of ingredients of any food or food supplements.


NNFA challenges government agencies (the FDA and the
FTC) to ban categories of statements on the grounds that such ban is both unfair and unconstitutional, especially when the statements are truthful and not misleading. NNFA challenges the FDA’s unconstitutional stance on misbranded supplements and ingredient declaration, paving the way for a watershed moment for the industry in 1976. RDAs would be established for these same nutrients that FDA felt were not essential in 1966 and 1973. Decades later, FDA would pivot 180 degrees and adopt the policy to require all ingredients to be listed on the nutrition information panel.

NNFA rallies a small army of retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers to march around the U.S. Capitol building and lobby against the FDA’s plan to issue arbitrary regulations to suppress the American consumer’s right to purchase safe health food and supplements. This would form the basis of NPA’s annual Natural Products Day.
VS Day (Victory for Supplements Day)

The Court of Appeals rules overwhelmingly in the favor of NNFA and the health food and supplement industry on multiple issues in the opinion written by Judge Friendly  concerning the validity of the Aug. 2, 1973 Vitamin and Mineral Regulation. Judge Friendly permits the word “natural” in labeling. Punishing supplement firms with ingredient potencies in excess of 150% of the RDA is struck down. The FDA could not impose RDAs as a basis for setting limits. Non-essential nutrients could be listed on supplements. The 87-page opinion from the Court frustrates the FDA at every turn.


After years of debate over nutritional supplements, Congress passes the Proxmire Bill prohibiting the FDA from regulating vitamins and minerals as prescription drugs. The bill represents a major defeat for the FDA, which worked to repeal the bill.


Landmark NNFA Victory against FDA – NNFA v. Mathews,
557 F.2d 325 (2nd Cir. 1977). NNFA wins an Appeals decision on June 7, 1977 against the FDA’s prescription requirements for vitamin A and D. The FDA is unsuccessful in its attempt to classify vitamins A and D in high dosages as drugs on the grounds that FDA actions are “arbitrary and capricious and not
in accordance with the law.”

Dietary supplement industry pioneer Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry and Peace, receives NNFA’s Rachel Carson Environmental Award.


A House subcommittee issues a report on Feb. 18, 1978 that the FDA, the FCC and the EPA ”have financial interests in companies regulated by their agency.”


NNFA challenges FDA rulemaking requiring warnings for protein supplements used as the sole or primary source of calories in order to lose weight. NNFA and PPA v. FDA 907 F.2d 78 (1979).

NNFA Rebuffs Attack On Industry (1978-1984)

NNFA challenges the attacks on the natural food and supplement industry by Dr. Federick Stare and Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. NNFA files suit on Dec. 27, 1978 in U.S. District Court, alleging an attempt to conspire with each other and the American Council on Science and Health with columnist Ann Landers and other columnists to defame, disparage, injure, damage and destroy the members of NNFA. While the attacks continued in ACSH newsletters, Stare and Whelan went away along with their solicitations to their Stare-Whelan Legal Defense Fund.



Industry Pioneer Frank Murray writes More Than One Slingshot: How the Health Food Industry is Changing America, which chronicles the history of NNFA, the evolution of NPA’s humble beginnings, the impact NPA had on the natural landscape and nutrition of America, and the state of the health food and supplement industry up through the early 1980s. Frank Murray was the unofficial natural health food and supplement industry historian and a long-time editor of Better  Nutrition, Health Foods Retailing (official  magazine of NNFA), Today’s Living, Let’s Live, Great Life, and Physical. His book tells the story of NNFA “David” battling the giant FDA. NPA salutes and thanks you, Mr. Murray!


NNFA fights legislative battles with the American Dietetic Association in several states over licensure bills. “Dietician Bills” are blocked as a result of strong persistent response
from industry.

FDA Wages War on Dietary Supplements (1988-1993)

The FDA’s campaign to use the food additive provisions to attack the supplement industry leads to passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which took dietary ingredients used in supplements out of the food additive regulatory box.



President Bush signs into law the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA), which is intended to improve nutritional information regarding health claims made for products. The FDA is given the job of implementing the law, but because of its broad wording, the agency capitalizes on the opportunity to over-regulate safe and beneficial nutritional products.

NNFA develops the TruLabel program as a mandatory testing program for supply members to ensure products meet label claim.


Health Freedom Act (S. 2835) is introduced in the Senate by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The basic principle of the bill is that supplements are neither food additives nor drugs but an entity which needs to be defined. A similar bill is introduced in the House of Representatives to protect the rights of U.S. citizens to choose safe and effective dietary supplements.

To allow for further study of nutritional labeling of dietary supplements, an NLEA Moratorium is enacted in late 1992, postponing implementation of the act.


Passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) creates a new framework for regulation of dietary supplements by the FDA.


The White House Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels issues its report on the future regulation of this product category.


The FDA publishes regulations for structure/function claim notification.

Congress includes in the Food and Drug Modernization Act a provision allowing dietary supplements to make health claims.


NNFA helps found the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplements Association (IADSA), the aim of which is to build a sound legislative and political environment for the development of the dietary supplement market worldwide.

NNFA forms a Political Action Committee (PAC), and is the first dietary supplement industry trade association to do so.

NNFA launches the GMP certification program without any guidance or public rule making by the FDA (the agency’s interim final rule would be published in 2007). The NPA GMP certification program is the first third-party GMP certification program  of its kind and remains a more stringent program than FDA GMPs, a minimum standard to ensure dietary supplements are manufactured consistently as to their identity, purity, strength, and composition. With the announcement of the first NPA GMP certifications, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) said, “I commend the efforts of the National Nutritional Foods Association and their bold move toward implementing mandatory GMP guidelines for their members … This program is an important step toward the dietary supplement industry’s goal of ensuring product quality and consumer safety.”

NNFA provides the first ever dietary supplement cGMP education for industry.


FDA regulations require that a “Supplement Facts” panel appear on dietary supplement labels.

Pearson v. Shalala, a landmark case, forces the FDA to allow qualified health claims. FDA regulations require that nutrition information be presented with the title “Supplement Facts” on dietary supplement labels.



The final rule for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program is published.

The final rule for defining structure/function claims for dietary supplements goes into effect.


The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism Act) becomes law.


NNFA opens an office in Washington, D.C., in order to have a more effective presence on Capitol Hill.


NNFA forms the Coalition to Preserve DSHEA, created to preserve industry’s goals to provide safe supplements to consumers.

FDA publishes a proposed regulation on requiring current Good Manufacturing Practices for dietary supplement firms. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) establishes allergen labeling for packaged foods.


NNFA honors Congressional Champions, including Sen. Hatch, at Natural Foods Day (now Natural Products Day).

“I’ve always been proud to work with NNFA, because we have so many of the same goals. As long as I’m here, DSHEA is going to live.” – Sen. Hatch

The Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) becomes law.

Consistent with NPA’s position, leading industry champions in Congress also have made clear that CAFTA will affect how dietary supplements are regulated in the U.S.


The Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act (AER Bill) is passed. NNFA launches a vigorous grassroots campaign to send thousands of letters to legislators to affirm support of the AER Bill.

NNFA is the first dietary supplement industry trade association to open an office in China. NNFA established NNFA China and NNFA Japan.

The Natural Products Foundation is formed to promote and facilitate research and education related to natural products for the benefit of consumers and industry.

NNFA celebrates its 70th anniversary of advocating for the industry. A permanent association headquarters in Washington, D.C., is purchased.

NNFA membership voted in June 2006 overwhelmingly to approve a name change to the Natural Products Association (NPA).


The FDA publishes its final regulation for Good Manufacturing Practices for dietary supplements. The rule, according to FDA, ensures that “dietary supplements are produced in a quality manner, do not contain contaminants or impurities and are accurately labeled.”

An amendment aimed at safeguarding the human and animal food supply chain in the wake of wide-spread contamination issues is approved in the U.S. Senate with an important exemption for dietary supplements.


NPA is the first association to define natural and launch a Natural Standard and Certification for personal care products.

In June, the three-year roll-out of FDA’s cGMP final rule commences starting with the largest firms.


Natural Products Day sees record-setting attendance with close to 200 members advocating on Capitol Hill.


The FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) rules come into effect for all producers of dietary supplements.

The FDA publishes the long-awaited small entity compliance guide (SECG) for very small firms under the cGMPs for dietary supplements.

President Barack Obama signs into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The legislation provides better access to healthier foods and sets new standards for food in cafeterias and vending machines.

NPA launches the first Natural Standard and Certification program for Home Care products.

Senate Bill S. 3002, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010, is introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). The bill is harmful to health-food retailers, legitimate supplement manufacturers and the American public.

After a grassroots letter-writing campaign led by NPA, Sen. Hatch thanks Sen. McCain for withdrawing his support of S. 3002. Senators McCain and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) pledge to work with them in incorporating common-ground provisions into S. 510 (Food Safety bill). The hostile bill threatened to remove all grandfathered ingredients under DSHEA and force companies to register ingredients as new dietary ingredients (NDIs).


On January 4, 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is signed into law. FSMA provided provisions for registration renewal of food facilities, new recall authority by the FDA, preventive controls for dietary ingredients and other ingredients. Within 180 days of FSMA, the FDA releases the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues in July.

NPA publishes its GE White Paper as a set of guiding principles on the association’s position regarding genetically modified organisms and calls for a national standard on GMO labeling.


In May, NPA activates its grassroots base to defeat the Durbin Amendment, legislation that would have imposed needless regulation on dietary supplements, a commodity already regulated under FDA statutory authority.

NPA files supplemental comments for the NDI Draft Guidance.

NPA commissions the NPA GE White Paper in June to advise the NPA Board on its position regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) foods.


NPA hits a new milestone with the 1,200th Natural Seal certification issued for natural products and ingredients, up 50 percent over the previous year.

NPA submits comments on the draft FSMA regulation, cGMP and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food.

NPA publishes its GE White Paper as a set of guiding principles on the association’s position regarding genetically modified organisms and calls for a national standard on GMO labeling.


NPA launches its monthly “Wednesday Webinar” series in January designed to address the education needs of its members and the natural products industry.

NPA, along with the other dietary supplement trade associations, commends Congress on the introduction of the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA) of 2014.

NPA advocacy efforts help the Dietary Supplement Caucus gain two new Congressional Champions: Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).

NPA forms a Coalition to Advance Dietary Supplements.
NPA hires Dr. Daniel Fabricant, Director of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs at the U.S. FDA, as CEO and Executive Director.

NPA challenges warning statements and the scientific basis for Prop 65 levels, which are significantly lower than Federal Provisions Total Tolerable Intake Levels.

Dr. Fabricant is anointed “King of Natural Foods” by Time Magazine.

Senate Commerce subcommittee reiterates and echoes Dr. Fabricant’s comments in his testimony before Congress on weight-loss products and claims.

NPA challenges a policy change in Louisiana to require the registration of dietary supplements.

NPA submits strong comments to two proposed rules on July 30 (revisions of the nutrition and supplement facts labels and changes to serving sizes of foods that can reasonably be consumed at one-eating occasion). NPA challenges the FDA’s changes on its lack of empirical evidence from consumer studies to support its position. NPA challenges the FDA’s position on eliminating synonyms for folate, added sugars, and DV change for sodium. NPA challenges the proposed rule for changes to the serving size because it would take the ability of food manufacturers to decide the serving size out of their hands and force more foods to declare the entire packaged food as one serving.

Draft China Food Safety Law (FSL) Amendment – First, in an unprecedented move applauded by NPA, China allows for public rule-making on the draft China FSL amendment for the first time, soliciting comments from all stakeholders by August 1. Second, NPA is the only U.S. domestic trade association to provide comments on a major landmark amendment which will affect both the U.S. consumer and U.S. manufacturers of health foods and supplements. The China FSL has significant ramifications internationally, and NPA’s comments provide suggestions on how to handle risk management, risk analysis, increasing enforcement against tainted ingredients and products exported to the U.S., and implementing a robust adverse event reporting system to monitor and detect sentinel events for food safety.

NPA and UL partnered to provide online and in person education for NPA members. The partnership incorporates
NPA’s prestigious regulatory and compliance seminars, web based education, and personalized, onsite training, along with top notch training modules from EduNeering, the online regulatory training division of UL. The initiative has served to better inform dietary supplement manufacturers, distributors, auditors, retailers and other industry stakeholders on a variety of vital issues via various training platforms.


NPA fires up its grassroots efforts against New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, when he used test methods that were not fit for purpose on finished dietary supplement products.  NPA would further challenge the scientific merits in its white paper on DNA barcoding.

Dr. Fabricant and Dr. Hilmas authored a white paper questioning DNA barcoding test methods used by the New York Attorney General in its cease and desist letters to four retailers.

NPA completed a 2nd Amicus Brief in FTC’s case against Bayer to require two Random Clinical Trials to substantiate their structure function claims.  Both “friend of the court” brief filings were accepted by the higher court and the case ultimately ended in Bayer’s favor as FTC did not make press statements or levy fines at its conclusion.

NPA held its 18th Natural Products Day in Washington, DC with over 100 members advocating on behalf of the industry.

Dr. Fabricant and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office issued a joint press release stating that they “Agree to collaborate to promote product safety, authenticity , and transparency”.  The letter implied that DNA barcoding is but one test method and not fit for purpose in finished botanical supplements. NPA was the only trade association who was able  to broker the agreement.NPA and Underwriters Laboratories formed a partnership to offer dietary supplement GMP certification to everyone in the industry and no longer made membership a requirement for certification according to the NPA GMP Standard.

NPA claimed another victory when the grassroots challenged an attempt by two U.S. Senators to limit access to supplements on military bases. NPA efforts were immediate and the National Defense Authorization Act, by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL). In just under a week, NPA tallied over 25,000 emails to the U.S. Senate, resulting in the amendments being omitted in the final version of the bill.

NPA challenges study on supplements and ER visits.

NPA calls for Research & Development Tax Credit permanence and reforms to increase its effectiveness.

NPA celebrates 25th Anniversary for the TruLabel program.

FDA grants NPA’s request for an extension of the comment period on the use of the term “natural” in the labeling of human food products.

NPA made their regulatory presence known by submitting fifteen sets of comments to four different agencies.


NPA was the only trade association to defend the industry against PBS Frontline segment “Supplements and Safety” when it interviewed Dr. Fabricant.

NPA led the charge and was instrumental in ensuring the introduction of the Health Savings Act, a bill which would allow
Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account funds to go toward dietary supplements without having to get a doctor’s prescription.

NPA secures two new champions to join the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus: Rep. Reid Ribble (D-WI) and Sen.Tom Cotton (R-AR).

Led the charge to keep Vinpocetine in the Market.

NPA submits comments on behalf of the industry in response to FDA .

The Association creates a massive Safe Harbor list for the industry in response to the NDI Guidance.

NPA launches the only searchable FDA warning letter database as a free resource for its members.

NPA submits more comments than any other trade association in the industry and offers 20 educational offerings throughout the year.


NPA launches Informed Choice partnership to help supplement manufacturers in the USA minimize the risk of contamination with substances banned in sport by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The Supplement Safety and Compliance Initiative (SSCI) is formed, bringing together the industry to reduce safety risks, recalls,  manage costs by eliminating redundancy in certifications and improving operational efficiency, and more.

NPA rejects Government’s “Dietary Fiber” Guidance and submits comments to the FDA on behalf of the industry.

NPA encourages FDA to Expand Structure/Function Claims Made for Infant Formula Beyond Taste, Aroma, and Nutritive Value and Include Claims Toward Physiological Effects.

The Natural Products Association reached an important milestone in 2017  ̶  celebrating its 81st anniversary. Founded in 1936, NPA has established itself as the oldest nonprofit association dedicated to serving and preserving the rights of natural products industry retailers and suppliers.


NPA announced the completion of the pilot audits for the Supplement Safety & Compliance Initiative (SSCI), an industry- driven initiative led by retailers focused on enhancing the authenticity, safety, and compliance of dietary supplements.

NPA declared victory following FDA’s decision to delay the costly and burdensome nutrition and supplement facts labeling rule, saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.


NPA declared victory and applauded the Trump Administration for opening the exclusion process for tariffs on dietary and personal care ingredients.

NPA earned observer status during upcoming Codex Alimentarius Commission meetings, and was the 158th non-governmental organization (NGO) to receive this status worldwide. Recognition as a Codex Alimentarius Observer means NPA will contribute its expertise to the development of health standards worldwide.


NPA mobilized its grassroots network in recent days, sending over 10,000 letters to elected officials across the country requesting that health food stores remain open as essential businesses during the COVID-19 public health crisis.


A grassroots campaign by NPA in Illinois successfully blocked the introduction of legislation that would restrict access to nutritional supplements.

Due to NPA’s grassroots network, the only one in the industry, a bill in the New York State Assembly that would ban the sale of safe and legal dietary supplements to consumers under the age of 18, was pulled from consideration.

NPA in a Citizen’s Petition to the Food and Drug Administration, requested that N-acetyl-L-cysteine (“NAC”) not be excluded from the definition of a dietary supplement.

NPA in comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office called for strong intellectual property protection for nutritional supplements, citing its importance to consumer safety and innovation.  NPA was the only trade association representing the natural products and nutritional supplement industry to submit comments regarding a patent eligibility jurisprudence study requested by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Maize Hirono (D-HI), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Chris Coons (D-DE).

NPA filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration, requesting that the agency cease its unlawful retroactive application of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act against N-acetyl-L-cysteine (“NAC”).


NPA in a Citizen’s Petition to the Food and Drug Administration requested the FDA either determine cannabidiol (CBD) is not excluded from the definition of a dietary supplement under 21 U.S.C. §321(ff)(3)(B) allowing the Commissioner the ability to exercise enforcement discretion in a specific and selective manner consistent with the premarket safety review of a new dietary ingredient notification or recommend the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) issue a regulation after notice comment, finding CBD would be lawful.

A Citizen’s Petition and lawsuit filed by NPA against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a dietary supplement issued enforcement discretion for N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) has resulted in the agency making a first ever determination on the issue.

Following a Citizen’s petition and lawsuit filed by NPA against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a dietary supplement issued enforcement discretion for N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) has resulted in the agency issuing final guidance.

California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed AB1341 which would have restricted access to dietary supplements, and in some cases would have required a prescription to access these health products. NPA was the only trade association to oppose the bill, testified at Hearings, and asked the Governor to veto the bill.

After securing final guidance for N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) through a citizen petition and lawsuit, NPA dismissed its case against the FDA, which preserves legal rights and standing should additional action be necessary.

In a significant victory for NPA, last minute attempts to add controversial dietary supplement provisions to an omnibus government funding bill fell short. Congressional leaders followed House and Senate action earlier in the year to keep the divisive provisions out of FDA User Fee reauthorization.


The Idaho State House Health & Welfare, advanced legislation that would codify the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 into Idaho law. NPA testified in support of the legislation.

NPA and ANH filed a citizen’s petition with FDA on specific NMN relief. The NMN Citizen’s Petition requires FDA action and requests for a reevaluation by FDA or exercising Enforcement Discretion on Drug Exclusion Clause for NMN, consistent with the law.

NPA secured a major victory for the industry when legislative language that would have restricted and in some cases prohibited access to dietary supplements was stricken from legislation before the Colorado Health and Human Services Committee.