TIME spoke to Dan Fabricant, who recently became the head of the Natural Product Association (NPA) after serving as director of the dietary supplement programs at the FDA. Fabricant is no newbie to the NPA, though. Prior to leaving for the federal agency in 2011, Fabricant was president of global government and scientific affairs at the NPA. We asked him about making the switch between industry and regulator, leading a $32 billion industry, and skepticism over supplements.
Fabricant: I think we did more in my three and a half years there than had ever been done in dietary supplements, so I packed a career into a short time. I started to realize there is a lot I can do outside the agency to drive some of the issues I started to deal with inside in the agency, and that we can use the leverage we have to drive those initiatives. I enjoyed the work tremendously, and I am really proud of the work at the agency. This opportunity fell out of the sky, and it wasn’t without a lot of thought, but it’s an organization I really treasure.