A new campaign to educate the public on all things sports nutrition has been launched by European industry trade association, ESSNA, to ensure consumer safety and good health.
The European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), which ‘represents the responsible section of the industry through its 50+ members’, has kicked off the campaign by launching a dedicated ESSNA kitemark that can help the public identify products belonging to ESSNA members.
ESSNA members sign up to its strict Code of Conduct, making a promise to the consumer that all their products comply fully with the European legislation put in place for their protection.
The campaign is accompanied by a new online resource that the public can refer to for more information on everything sports nutrition related, such as step-by-step guides to buying certain products, general ‘do’s and don’ts’, and a platform for the public to use to report products they believe to be dodgy, as well as tips on how to identify those products.
ESSNA has also launched a Facebook page to encourage consumers to report products they come across on the social media platform, which sees a high number of sales of sports nutrition products every day.
Future resources will include an entire separate website dedicated wholly to protein, regular attendance at consumer events to facilitate face-to-face conversations with the public, and a campaign week to raise awareness of doping and to press for clean sport, as well as partnerships with enforcement and regulatory bodies across all European Union (EU) Member States.
Dr Adam Carey, Chair of ESSNA, said “Too many misconceptions continue to fly around about our products, whether that’s the media claiming that we’re not overseen by any law or athletes blaming their doping scandals on ‘unclean’ sports supplements. The fact is, the majority of the industry is extremely responsible and complies with stringent European laws around the production, labelling and selling of its products.
“The public need not be worried or concerned when buying sports nutrition products and they need to understand that their safety and good health is the industry’s number one priority. But more than that, we want an informed public. It’s time once and for all – particularly as we see a huge growth in the sector as it moves further and further into the mainstream – to make sure the public understand what they’re consuming and how they can stay safe while consuming it. Our campaign will educate them on everything: from what benefits they can expect to see, to what brands they can trust, to what ingredients they should avoid.
“Our main aim here is to ensure consumers are getting the best out of their products, and to ensure they’re being smart by keeping a safe distance from the few irresponsible companies still out there that insist on operating outside the law – alongside, of course, our work with the authorities to stamp out these charlatans.
“We are in the early stages of the campaign but we’re very excited to continue to produce new material to help the public over the next few months. We have, however, identified the most crucial and central aspect of this campaign as giving the public a way to easily identify if the products they’re buying are safe and lawful, which is where our kitemark comes in. From now on, when you see the ESSNA member kitemark on a product, you can be sure you’re getting the real deal.”
ESSNA is positioned as the voice of the sports nutrition industry and is in dialogue with regulators and policy makers, campaigning in favour of proportionate EU legislation that protects consumers and does not adversely affect the industry. ESSNA also works with authorities and other trade associations across the food industry to monitor and report irresponsible companies that flout EU law and may put consumers at potential risk from dangerous products.