The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) is proudly celebrating 20 years of successful advocacy and leadership, actions that have helped sustain and elevate the animal supplement industry for the benefit of millions of dogs, cats and horses.
What began as a passionate grassroots effort, with 18 dedicated founding member companies, has grown into the leading voice for the industry, representing over 280 manufacturers of animal health and nutritional supplements, plus more than 100 vetted supplier companies that provide NASC members with raw materials, contract manufacturing, laboratory testing, and other professional products and services.
HOW THE NASC STARTED
NASC’s true origins actually date back to 1996. At the time, the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM) declared that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) — a 1994 statute of US federal legislation that recognizes human dietary supplements — doesn’t apply to animal supplements despite their similarity to human products. This declaration placed supplements marketed for animals into a state of limbo because they were now considered “unapproved.”
Orders to stop sales and pull animal supplement products from retail shelves increased exponentially with no good solution in sight, even as consumer demand continued to increase. The future of the industry became increasingly uncertain, compelling industry participants to define a proactive, solution-focused approach to solving a problem that clearly was not going away.
COOPERATING TO FIND A SOLUTION
After numerous failed attempts by state and federal regulators to identify viable options, a group of concerned industry leaders rallied to help lay the groundwork for what would become the NASC. Their intent of “working cooperatively with the regulatory agencies and the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to define, develop and implement a system of self-regulation, incorporating input from the regulators and addressing the issue for the benefit of all stakeholders” became a reality.
The industry adopted their plan for responsibly bringing animal supplements for dogs, cats and horses to the market, and to this day, NASC is a model for self-regulation that has been a driving force in creating a favorable regulatory climate for marketing these types of products.
PEACE OF MIND FOR ANIMAL PARENTS
The NASC Quality Program and audit verification are widely recognized as the “gold standard” in the industry.
Animal parents can trust products with the NASC Quality Seal, which indicates they come from a responsible supplier that has passed a comprehensive third-party audit and maintains ongoing compliance with rigorous NASC quality requirements, including:
- Writing a quality manual that meets NASC standards, which were developed from published standards established by the FDA for human dietary supplements, as well as animal food/feed
- Adhering to labeling and advertising standards developed by NASC with input from federal and state regulatory bodies
- Tracking, trending and evaluating any adverse event, even if not attributable to the supplement
- Passing random independent product testing to ensure they are meeting label claims
- Participating in mandatory annual training facilitated by NASC.
Next time you’re shopping for supplements for your four-legged family member, look for the NASC Quality Seal to know you’re purchasing from a reputable supplier committed to quality, vigilance and continuous improvement.