The Supplement Online Wellness Library (OWL) system is now live, providing unprecedented access to supplement information and product details. Product information, labels, and ingredients will be free to access using the system, meaning regulators and other stakeholders can browse and evaluate the supplement marketplace through a comprehensive online database.
The OWL system has been constructed through the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s initial funding and project management, however, the supplement information database will be regulated by the industry itself. While anyone will be able to access the first tier of supplement information for free, the system has been specifically targeted towards regulators and industry stakeholders. Such transparency in the industry is highly significant when you consider the importance of access to this information. With ingredient and allergen information freely available, retailers and, ultimately, consumers will be able to comprehensively understand the supplements they are selling and purchasing.
Regulation will become more streamlined as a result of the OWL system. The database has been designed for manufacturers to upload the details of their own products with full disclosure of all supplement information. With this efficiency and ease of use, a wide range of users will have access to a unique bank of valuable information.
The Supplement OWL’s free of charge nature makes this information industry-wide. Available to manufacturers, regulators, and retailers, there will not only be a demonstration of transparency in the uploading of product information but a future dedication to such transparency in continued use. As more and more companies take part in the database, the significance of this free and easy information will become clearer, particularly as the industry itself becomes more complex.
The registry will also highlight the responsibility and accountability of the manufacturers while ensuring the effective enforcement of regulation. It’s a system, then, that breeds trust between manufacturers, retailers, and regulators, and will ultimately promote an industry of honesty and productive competition. Such trust within the industry will no doubt transfer to the consumers it exists to cater to, and the self-regulatory nature of such a database will continue to foster the confidence our consumers hold in our products.
Companies are currently not charged to upload their supplement information to the OWL database, with development continuing on a paid second tier of use.