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Michael Q. Ford: 1950-1999.
Michael Q. Ford died unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm in Denver September 23. He had been executive director and chief executive officer of the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) since 1994. Ford was instrumental in the industry's fight to secure critical legislation affecting natural products, notably the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. In 1995, he served on a special working group of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), developing recommended guidelines for the use of ephedra in dietary supplements that included stronger, more explicit labeling. Most recently, Mr. Ford led the association's introduction of a mandatory Good Manufacturing Practices accreditation program for all NNFA members, and presented to the FDA the association's recommendations for labeling on all genetically modified foods.

"Michael was one of the strongest leaders the natural products industry has seen in many years. His untimely death is a real blow to the entire industry and to the many people who worked with him and appreciated his dedication and tireless work," said ABC executive director Mark Blumenthal. Loren Israelsen of the LDI Group in Salt Lake City was close to Ford: "He was a rock guitarist, a connoisseur, a humorist, and a friend. Most knew him as a skilled administrator; I knew him as a good friend who is already greatly missed."

Earlier in his career, Ford served as the executive director for the Coalition for Health Funding and organized a coalition of 60 health groups, associations, and societies in Washington, D.C., to solicit increased health appropriations. He also served as director of the National Council on Alcoholism's Public Policy Office, and as president of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers.

A scholarship fund has been established by the Ford family and the NNFA. Donations be made to the Michael Q. Ford Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o NNFA, 3931 MacArthur Road, Suite 101, Newport Beach, CA 92660.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.


By Barbara A. Johnston