UNPA / GAO Request for Info on Prenatal Supplements

Aug 31, 2023

From: Loren Israelsen <loren@unpa.com>
Date: Wed, Aug 30, 2023 at 11:54 AM
Subject: UNPA / GAO Request for Info on Prenatal Supplements
To: UNPA Colleagues <heidi@unpa.com>

Dear Colleagues —

We have received the attached email from Dr. Kristen Pinnock at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). We are well familiar with GAO, as they have produced a number of reports on dietary supplements and DSHEA over the past 30 years. A GAO study of this type would usually be requested by a member of Congress — perhaps a committee/subcommittee. I would also add that most GAO reports on DSHEA and supplements have not been favorable, and in some cases a level of bias is fairly evident.

Moreover, we are unaware of any incidents or reasons for a specific evaluation of prenatal supplements. If you are aware of any reason or facts that would shed light on why this request is being made, please let me know. We have not yet decided whether we will respond to the GAO. Your input will be most helpful in making that decision.

Kind regards,



From: Pinnock, Kristen M
Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2023 12:18 PM
To: loren@unpa.com
Cc: Pekar-Carpenter, Katrina E <PekarCarpenterK@gao.gov>; Watts, Kristen E <WattsK@gao.gov>
Subject: Interview Request with U.S. Government Accountability Office


Good afternoon,

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, non-partisan agency that works for Congress (see www.gao.gov for more information). As part of a Congressional request, GAO has begun work examining over-the-counter prenatal supplements, including pre- and post-market quality assurance steps. We are interested in interviewing UNPA in order to incorporate the prenatal supplement manufacturing perspective into our work.

We would be specifically interested in understanding 1) the number of UNPA member organizations in the prenatal supplement space; 2) why a prenatal supplement manufacturer may join UNPA and what are the benefits they may get from doing so; 3) how does UNPA ensure that member organizations produce quality products and meet federal and state regulations; 4) any concerns or challenges regarding the manufacturing or validation testing of prenatal supplements voiced by member organizations and 5) how, if at all, UNPA coordinates with external groups like FDA or other expert groups, specifically in reference to prenatal supplements.

Please advise on who may be the appropriate contact within UNPA to coordinate with for this interview request. Once we have the appropriate point of contact we can provide more information on GAO, our work, and provide more specific interview questions. Of note, GAO is open to either a Zoom interview or providing questions via email that UNPA can respond to in writing.



Kristen M. Pinnock, Ph.D.
Senior Analyst