Washington, D.C. (Dec. 10, 2014) – Organic & Natural Health Association (Organic & Natural) announced a new partnership with GrassrootsHealth on Dec. 9 at the Vitamin D for Public Health conference in La Jolla, California. Organic & Natural will sponsor the development of nutrient research conducted by GrassrootsHealth and its scientific community.

“Randomized clinical trials do not accomplish what’s needed for companies when it comes to the legal definition of ‘competent and reliable scientific evidence’ and the emphasis regulators place on statistical and randomized clinical trials jeopardizes the importance and relevance of measurable evidence-based clinical outcomes,” said Todd Harrison, partner at Venable, LLP, and president of Organic & Natural. “The expertise GrassrootsHealth has in population-based nutrient research embodies the paradigm shift we know is required to ensure consumers have access to safe, quality ingredients and natural products that improve health. They will provide information to individuals as to how a nutrient may be affecting them personally.”

The nonprofit GrassrootsHealth is a consortium of scientists, institutions and professionals committed to worldwide nutrient sufficiency and has pioneered nutrient research by using sophisticated field trials based on its successful international D*action project that has enrolled 8,000 participants for the past five years providing testing of vitamin D levels and educational information for participants.

Harrison says the partnership with GrassrootsHealth is crucial to Organic & Natural’s commitment to research in the natural products industry and supporting the development of rational standards for claims substantiation and truthful and transparent information that does not mislead the consumer.

“Organic & Natural will sponsor specific nutrient-based research conducted by GrassrootsHealth and its scientific community,” said Harrison. “GrassrootsHealth’s protocols and analysis will be conducted independent of any external influence and will be published in peer-reviewed literature.”

Some of the key nutrients that will be researched include how vitamin D, vitamin K2, calcium and magnesium interact with one another. Understanding how these nutrients interact within the body can elevate focus on prevention strategies versus disease treatment. Fundamental parts of the project will consist of providing education to participants and their health care providers as regular measurements are made of these nutrients. A formal scientific analysis will be conducted and published in peer-reviewed literature for the purposes guiding public health policy.

“We have the vehicle to drive nutrient research and show how it has a direct impact on disease prevention,” said Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth. “Consumers are very motivated to get answers to optimize their health.”

Organic & Natural along with GrassrootsHealth will host a webinar for companies interested in population-based nutrient research for the documentation of claims at 2 p.m. ET on Jan. 23. The expert panel will include Harrison, Baggerly and Dr. Robert P. Heaney, professor of medicine at Creighton University and research director at GrassrootsHealth. The webinar is free and registration can be found at: www.organicandnatural.org. Companies interested in participating in these research projects should contact Organic & Natural at 202-660-1345.