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GNC Nutritional Supplements To Be Evaluated And Certified By NSF International
Ann Arbor MI and Pittsburgh PA, 20 November 2003

NSF Independently Certified sealGeneral Nutrition Companies, Inc. (GNC), the nation's largest specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, and NSF International, the leading global provider of public health and safety risk management solutions, today unveiled a first-of-its-kind collaborative agreement to ensure that all GNC-branded products meet the rigorous requirements of NSF's independent testing and certification program.

Under the terms of the agreement, GNC will become the first national retailer of nutritional supplements to have its entire company-branded product line evaluated against the stringent testing and certification requirements of the only American National Standard for dietary supplements, NSF/ANSI Standard 173: Dietary Supplements.

"As a pioneer in the industry, GNC has a long-standing commitment to proactively offering our customers the safest, most effective products on the market, while providing them with the information they need to make intelligent choices," said Lou Mancini, GNC president and chief executive officer. "We are proud to be the first national retailer to fully pursue the NSF certification, which will provide our customers with assurance that the products they purchase adhere to the strictest standards of quality."

NSF operates the only dietary supplement certification program accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). The program is designed to protect consumers by testing for contaminants and verifying that NSF-certified supplements contain the ingredients stated on the label. Products bearing the NSF Mark are scheduled to appear in GNC stores nationwide early next year.

By forming this new agreement, NSF and GNC are responding to the interests of consumers looking for quality dietary supplements. According to the Natural Marketing Institute's 2003 Health and Wellness Trend Report, 52.3 percent of the general population said that they are more likely to buy a supplement with a certification seal.

"Featuring the NSF Mark on GNC's dietary supplements will send a clear message to health-conscious consumers that the products they are using have been independently evaluated, certified and accurately labeled," said Kevan P. Lawlor, president and CEO of NSF International. "In this case, GNC's commitment goes beyond product certification, because they are also committed to educating customers about the importance of seeking out NSF-certified products when they make buying decisions."

General Nutrition Companies, Inc. (GNC, www.gnc.com), based in Pittsburgh PA, is the largest nationwide specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition as well as personal care and related products. GNC operates more than 5,300 retail outlets throughout the United States, including 1,360 domestic franchise locations, and 33 foreign markets including Canada and Mexico.

NSF International (www.nsf.org), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, is the leading global provider of public health and safety risk management solutions in the areas of food, water, indoor air and the environment. NSF provides product certification and safety audits for the food and water industries. Other services include management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd. and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education. Founded in 1944, NSF is headquartered in Ann Arbor MI, and serves companies in 80 countries.


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