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Our Members Begins Independent Testing of Herbal Products and Supplements - Certification Seal Announced.
16, LLC, a startup company, announced that it has begun a large-scale program of independent testing of herbal products and dietary supplements. Results will be posted on its website and products that pass testing will be eligible to carry the company's certification seal. The research and seal are key elements of the company's mission to provide objective online information about health and nutrition products to consumers and healthcare professionals. "We are excited to begin this groundbreaking work -- systematically testing health and nutrition products and making our results widely available," said Tod Cooperman, M.D., president and founder of "Better information helps consumers find better products and rewards manufacturers for making them. Nearly everyone wins," he added. Dr. Cooperman was also the founder in 1994 of CareData Reports, now a leading provider of objective research about managed care.

William R. Obermeyer, Ph.D., vice president for research, directs's testing programs. Dr. Obermeyer was previously with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Division of Natural Products where he guided the testing of natural products, educated the public on the safety of dietary supplements, and worked with academia, industry, and other government agencies to develop proper testing methods.

Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council and an advisor to, said, "Many have talked about doing this kind of research but is the first to have stepped up to the plate and squarely taken aim. Dr. Cooperman's experience in providing objective consumer information and Dr. Obermeyer's reputation for excellent science should enable to make a lasting positive contribution."

Results for the products currently under testing will be released later this year and posted at <>. CL invites consumer groups, healthcare professionals, researchers, government agencies, manufacturers, and retailers to submit comments on its work to <info@consumer>. is an independent online provider of objective information about health and nutrition products. It is a privately held company headquartered in White Plains, New York, and is not affiliated with manufacturers of health a nd nutrition products. More information is available at <>.

[Cooperman T. Personal communication. Sept. 24, 1999.]

Article copyright American Botanical Council.


By Barbara A. Johnston