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. NASC represents nearly 275 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 services.
HOW THE NASC STARTED
The true origin of the NASC actually dates back to 1996, when 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 placed similar products marketed for animals into limbo because they were considered “unapproved”.
As time passed, orders to stop sales and pull supplement products marketed as animal feed from retail shelves increased exponentially, with no good solution in sight. As consumer demand for these products continued to increase, the future of the industry became increasingly uncertain, compelling industry participants to define a proactive approach to solving a problem that clearly was not going away.
After numerous failed attempts by state and federal regulators to identify viable options, a group of industry leaders rallied to help lay the groundwork for what would become the NASC. After registering as a non-profit organization, NASC’s specific 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 this plan for responsibly bringing animal supplements for dogs, cats, and horses to market. To this day, NASC is a model for self-regulation that has been a driving force in creating a favorable regulatory climate for animal supplements to be responsibly marketed, as well as a primary resource for the future growth and success of the animal supplement industry. Now, the NASC Quality Program and audit verification are widely recognized as “the Gold Standard” in the industry.
WHO DESERVES THE CREDIT?
We have made enormous strides due to collaborative efforts by NASC members, regulators at the state level, and many individuals within FDA-CVM, along with support from associations including AAFCO, the American Pet Products Association (APPA), and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), as well as retail partners, both large and small. And we cannot forget the millions of dog, cat, and horse owners who will always be part of our success story — these people and their animals give us our motivation! Simply stated, our collective success is measured by one thing: credibility through results.
People often credit me for NASC’s success. While I am very humbled and appreciative of the praise, the credit really belongs to everyone who has been part of the NASC story for the past 20 years. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as founder and president of NASC, and together we have helped shape the foundation of a great industry that continues to make a difference in the lives of millions of animals around the world.