Organization Launches Website and Adds Administrative Manager Role as it Develops Separate GMP Standards for Dietary Supplements, Cosmetics, Over-the-Counter Drugs and Medical Devices

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA) is growing as it continues developing a consensus-based American National Standard for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) in the dietary supplement industry. The organization, which plans to publish the first consensus-based GMP standard for dietary supplements this spring, is hiring an administrative manager and launching www.GRMAlliance.org to encourage participation in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards development process.

NSF International, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization (SDO), is facilitating the ANSI standards development process on behalf of the GRMA.

“We’ve had tremendous participation from store brand retailers, manufacturers, trade associations and certification bodies,” said Casey Coy, interim manager of the GRMA. “Our new website will make it easier for individual stakeholders to participate in GRMA activities and the standard development process.”To help manage the organization’s growth, the GRMA Governance Board recently began a search for a full-time administrative manager.

The GRMA’s new standard for GMP audits will be unique – including audit requirements, audit processes and requirements for certification bodies. By combining regulatory GMP requirements and various retailer requirements, the standard will help ensure consistency and proper training of auditors, reduce the number of audits and financial costs associated with multiple audits, and strengthen safety, quality and trust throughout the supply chain.

Major retailers, manufacturers, trade associations and certification bodies began working together as the GRMA in 2014 – using the ANSI standard development process to develop a consensus-based standard for GMPs in the dietary supplement industry. The GRMA is also developing standards using this process to address other aspects of the supply chain, including ingredients/raw materials, warehouse and distribution, and packaging and labeling. Beyond dietary supplements, the GRMA is working to develop additional standards for other product categories, including cosmetics/personal care products, over-the-counter drugs and medical devices. All third-party certifiers will be able to certify to the new standards.

“As part of the ANSI standard development process, we now expect the GMP standard for dietary supplements to be available for public comment in spring 2017,” Coy said. “The GMP standards for cosmetics and personal care products, over-the-counter drugs and medical devices are on track to be published later in 2017.”

The ANSI standard development process requires a consensus from a balanced group of stakeholders (including industry, public health regulators and users) who participate in a joint committee process. This consensus-building process is designed for openness and transparency – requiring open discussion, input from stakeholders (including a commenting and voting process) and an appeal process. Developing an ANSI standard is a rigorous process that generally takes from 18 to 36 months.

The GRMA initiative currently includes over 20 major retailers in the grocery, drug, mass merchandiser and club store channels, representing U.S.-based and international operations. Over 100 representatives from store brand retailers, manufacturers, trade associations, certification bodies, academia, government and industry consultants are participating in GRMA activities. The GRMA Governance Board includes members from retailers (Costco, H-E-B, Walgreens and Wegmans) and manufacturers (First Quality Products, Perrigo, UEC and Vi-Jon).

To learn more, please visit www.GRMAlliance.org or email admin@GRMAlliance.org.

Editor’s Note: Media interested in more information can contact Thomas Frey, APR, at media@nsf.org or +1 734.214.6242.

About GRMA: The Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMAlliance.org) is a store brand industry initiative driven by retailers, manufacturers, trade associations, certification bodies, academia, government agencies and other stakeholders seeking to improve quality, safety and regulatory compliance to ultimately benefit the customer.

About NSF International: NSF International (nsf.org) is a global independent organization that develops standards, and tests and certifies products to these standards for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 170 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.