(AUSTIN,Texas, November 11, 2015) The American Botanical Council (ABC) is pleased toannounce the financial support and endorsement of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR BotanicalAdulterants Program by the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), Canada’slargest trade association dedicated to natural health and organic products.
TheBotanical Adulterants Program is a coalition of three nonprofit groups: ABC,the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), and the University of Mississippi’sNational Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR). More than 170 Americanand international parties have supported and cooperated with the Program, whicheducates and provides advice about the various challenges related toadulterated herbs, botanical extracts, and other botanical ingredients incommerce. These parties include nonprofit organizations, analyticallaboratories, professional scientists, integrative healthcare practitioners,natural product industry members, and others. “Adulteration” refers to theaccidental or intentional substitution or dilution of a material with anundisclosed, usually lower-cost, ingredient, thereby giving the consumer afalse sense of the value or quality of an ingredient or product containing suchan adulterated ingredient.
The CHFAis the voice of the natural health industry in Canada, formed in 1964 from agrassroots community of health food pioneers. CHFA represents over 1,000 memberbusinesses across Canada, including manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers,distributors, and importers of natural and organic products such as foods,vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal products, homeopathic remedies, sportsnutrition products, and health and beauty aids. Their mission is to lead,empower, and support their members to promote the growth and advancement of theorganic and natural health products industry. In Canada, most herbal productsare sold as natural health products (NHPs), which are regulated as a class ofmedicines.
In aletter dated October 26, 2015, CHFA President Helen Long announced CHFA’ssupport of the Program, writing that she “looks forward to ongoingcollaboration with … the Program as a means of improving NHP quality in Canadaand beyond.”
“We aredeeply grateful for the strong support and encouragement we have received fromCHFA,” said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC and thedirector of the Botanical Adulterants Program. “CHFA’s decision to support ourinternational quality control education initiative adds another key industrygroup that is now assisting us in educating industry members and otherstakeholders in the all-important need to further educate on herbal identityand authenticity.”
TheBotanical Adulterants Program has been referred to as the premierindustry-supported quality program related to herbs, botanical raw materials,and extracts. It also has received underwriting and endorsements by domesticand international industry trade associations. These include the ConsumerHealthcare Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, theNatural Products Association, and the United Natural Products Alliance — all inthe United States — as well as the International Alliance of Dietary/FoodSupplement Associations, the Australian Self Medication Industry, ComplementaryMedicines Australia, the Australian Tea Tree Oil Association, and NaturalProducts New Zealand.
TheABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program has published extensivelypeer-reviewed and referenced articles on the history of adulteration,adulteration of the herbs black cohosh (Actaearacemosa) and skullcap (Scutellarialateriflora), and adulteration of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) fruitextract and so-called “grapefruit (Citrus× paradisi) seed extract.” These open-access articles are availableon the Program’swebpage.
TheProgram also publishes a quarterly newsletter, the "Botanical AdulterantsMonitor,” which highlights new scientific publications related to botanicalauthenticity and analysis to detect possible adulteration, recent regulatoryactions, and Program news. Issue #5of the Monitor, released this week, contains summaries of newresearch presented at the American Society of Pharmacognosy meeting regardinglicorice (Glycyrrhiza spp.)and maca (Lepidium meyenii),authentication of common horsetail (Equisetumarvense), and the detection of adulteration in commercial buchu (Agathosma betulina)supplements, among others.
InAugust, the Botanical Adulterants Program released the second in its series of LaboratoryGuidance Documents to help industry and third-partyanalytical laboratories determine the most effective analytical methods fordetecting adulteration and authenticating botanical raw materials and extracts.The first of these was published on skullcap,an herb subject to documented adulteration, which is joined by the latestpublication on bilberryextract. Additional publications from the Program, includinga Laboratory Guidance Document on black cohosh, are scheduled for release in thecoming weeks and months.
Aboutthe ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program
The ABC-AHP-NCNPRBotanical Adulterants Program is a consortium of independentnonprofit organizations whose mission relates to education, scientificresearch, and quality of botanical dietary ingredients and relatedplant-derived materials. The consortium is headed by three nonprofit groupsdealing with education and research on medicinal herbs and other beneficialplants: the American Botanical Council, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, andthe National Center for Natural Products Research at the University ofMississippi. The program has been underwritten and/or endorsed by more than 170natural products industry companies, independent analytical laboratories,contract research organizations, nonprofit and professional organizations,trade associations, accredited institutions of education in natural medicine,law firms, and media companies that are involved in the production, supply,manufacture, distribution, marketing, analysis, research, and/or education ofherbal dietary ingredients and supplements, in the United States andinternationally. All publications of the Program are available free-access onthe Program’s homepageincluding the “BotanicalAdulterants Monitor,” an e-newsletter that conveys Programnews, regulatory updates, and recent scientific publications related toadulteration, contamination, identity, and authenticity of botanical rawmaterials, extracts, and essential oils. Companies, organizations, foundations,and/or individuals interested in supporting this program are invited to contactMs. Denise Meikel, ABC Development Director, at (512) 926-4900, ext. 120, or byemail.