The Trade Association for 21st-Century Natural Health Products Companies
The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) is an international association representing more than 100 best-in-class natural products, dietary supplement, functional food, and scientific and technology and related service companies that share a commitment to providing consumers with natural health products of superior quality, benefit and reliability. Founded in Utah—recognized as the epicenter of dietary supplement manufacturing in the United States—in 1992, UNPA was instrumental in the passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and continues to take a leadership position in state and federal legislative and regulatory issues and industry best practices.
UNPA is Known and Respected Around the World for its Unparalleled Expertise in National and International Regulatory and Legislative Issues.
Led by Industry veteran Loren Israelsen, UNPA and its team are at the vanguard of trade associations serving the natural health products trade. UNPA’s membership is highly collegial and collaborative within a respectful, productive business environment.
UNPA organizes its key objectives and work plans through a series of memoranda of understanding (MOUs) and commercial agreements with partner organizations through certification programs and a wide variety of educational offerings, including GMP and FSMA trainings. See our 2022 Training Schedule >>
By laying out its join objectives via MOUs, UNPA is best able to serve the needs of its members and industry stakeholders.
Additionally, UNPA utilizes an active and engaged executive committee that advises the staff on UNPA objectives, strategies and policies in an efficient, manner. UNPA committees and working groups, driven by member participation and leadership, address and advise on specific ongoing issues.
We seek to create competitive market opportunities for our members while always doing what’s in the best interests of the membership, the industry and the consumers they serve.
“As a 50-year-old company, NOW recognizes the value of the UNPA team’s historical perspectives in evaluating industry issues and determining how to proceed. The information we receive, opportunities to weigh in on policies and pertinent educational events make NOW’s UNPA membership indispensable.” —Jim Emme, CEO, NOW
UNPA’s History: Protecting Consumers’ Access to Dietary Supplements
Our history is unique. In 1992, eight leading Utah-based dietary supplement companies agreed to form an alliance to challenge the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) aggressive and inappropriate enforcement actions against supplement companies, which threatened consumer access to these products. At that time, the association was named the Utah Natural Products Alliance.
UNPA embarked on a strategy to rewrite the rules governing dietary supplements. This plan was developed in close cooperation with the offie of Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and was realized by the introduction of the Health Freedom Act of 1992, sponsored by Sen. Hatch and Rep. Bill Richardson of New Mexico. This bill ultimately became the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). DSHEA was a shining example of consumers, trade associations and industry companies coming together to protect consumers’ rights of access to supplements. In 2005, the association’s name was changed to the United Natural Products Alliance in recognition of the diversity of our membership, which now spans North America, Europe and Asia. One of UNPA’s core missions is to help assure the full and proper implementation and enforcement of DSHEA, including a suite of laws and regulations that support DSHEA, such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations, adverse event reporting systems, analytical method development, control of illegal products masquerading as dietary supplements and international quality-management protocols.
Why UNPA? “We Know a Thing or Two, Because We’ve Seen a Thing or Two”.
- Experience. We are a staff of 12 with a combined 230 years of dietary supplement industry experience. To quote an insurance company TV tag line, “We know a thing or two, because we’ve seen a thing or two.”
- We want the best. We have the toughest admission standards in the industry. We are looking for serious companies that bring executive commitment and corporate compliance to the table.
- We are based in Salt Lake City—the geopolitical and manufacturing center of the dietary supplements industry—and we mentor other states to be next-generation leaders.
- Building new markets. We championed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), and today we are laser-focused on establishing a regulatory foundation for hemp-derived extracts and cannabinoids.
- FDA compliance. Larisa Pavlick, our VP of global regulatory & compliance, is the best in the business when it comes to dietary supplement GMPs, FSMA compliance, inspections and auditing, and all things FDA. She serves our members on a daily basis, helping them deal with issues both small or out of control.
- Political and legislative influence. If it’s in the news, we are already working on it. Our Washington, D.C., senior political advisors are former chiefs of staff to Sens. Orrin Hatch and Tom Harkin and have decades of experience dealing with the House, Senate, FDA and other government agencies. They bring a unique institutional knowledge to UNPA and to its members.
- Our dues are the best value for money in the industry. We don’t offer pay-to-play dues rates. All members in each membership class pay the same dues. This is to protect the democracy of our policies and goals and to do what is best for all.
- MOU partners. It’s a big world out there. Finding and developing world leaders in science, academics, international markets and technology allows us to bring a host of capabilities to our members. It’s UNPA’s unique approach to collaboration.
- News is noise. We read most everything, so you don’t have to. We take the news and turn it into insights and analysis for you.
- Our staff are natural health product consumers. Our office is a restored historic building. We are solar powered. We advocate for non-GMO and non-synbio. We support sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices. Let’s keep nature in ‘natural.’
- State chapters. The hard fact is that the dietary supplement industry is in the process of re-building its political leadership. We have decades of experience working at a local level to build state chapters and organize our members to be effective political advocates for the natural product industry.
- The China “green lane” initiative. China supplies about 80 percent of our raw materials, and now China is the most exciting U.S. brand consumer market in the world. We have spent years developing a U.S.-China green lane to assure high-quality raw materials in-bound and to secure export opportunities to China. If you are interested in the China market, you should talk to us.
- Building your brand. Our industry communications team works to put you in the news, connect you to new B2B customers and to help you stand out from the crowd. If you are doing good things, let us help you tell your story.