The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking input from academic researchers, government agencies, the dietary supplement industry, and other interested parties, including consumers on features and functionality improvements to make the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD) a more useful tool.
ODS is specifically looking for suggestions for how the DSLD might evolve. What features might be added, improved, or enhanced-for example, in capabilities related to search, sorting, organization, and downloading of information-that would make it a more valuable tool for users? Comments must be submitted to ODS@nih.gov by November 27 to be considered by a federal stakeholder panel for the DSLD.
"There has been much discussion in the trade recently about the potential value of creating a repository of supplement labels," said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. "This call for comments by ODS presents an opportunity to make improvements to this existing database to best assist consumers to understand the supplement marketplace."
AHPA's Board of Trustees acted at its meeting on March 4 to encourage its members that market dietary supplement products under their own brands to submit labels for inclusion in the DSLD. At the same meeting the AHPA board also recommended that improvements be made to the accuracy of entries in the database, and that the database be redesigned to provide only currently marketed labels through public access.
AHPA will be submitting recommendations to strengthen the DSLD by increasing the number and accuracy of supplement labels included in the database while reducing any confusion that may be caused by displaying old labels and out of date information about supplements as presently marketed.
To submit your labels or report an error, visit: http://www.dsld.nlm.nih.gov/dsld/index.jsp
The DSLD is a free resource that captures all information present on dietary supplement labels as provided by the seller, including contents, ingredient amounts, and any health-related product statements, claims, and cautions. It also provides a downloadable photo of each label. Users can search for and organize this information in various ways.
The DSLD currently contains 50,000 labels, and it is expected to grow rapidly over the next three years to include most of the estimated 75,000+ dietary supplement products sold to American consumers. The DSLD is updated regularly to include any formulation changes and label information in a product. It also includes the labels of products that have been discontinued and are no longer sold.