Botanical researchers collaborate for quality

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and the National Center of
Natural Products Research are teaming up to develop quality
standards for botanical dietary supplements.

AHP is a nonprofit organization that publishes monographs, validated analytical methods and efficacy and safety reviews, and provides the industry with botanical and chemical standards that it can use in its own analysis.

NCNPR, meanwhile, which is located at the University of Mississippi, has an agreement with the FDA to research the quality and safety of botanical supplements.

Ikhlas Khan, director of NCNPR's FDA program said that the center's ongoing research programs could contribute to AHP's work, which is used by researchers, the industry and the FDA itself.

Nor will the information flow be one way. Roy Upton, executive director of AHP, said: "The strength of AHP in bringing standards and guidance to the industry together with the research strengths of NCNPR will greatly increase the practical value of the works produced by both organizations."

Quality and purity of botanicals is an important issue for the supplements industry, which has come under fire in the past from detractors who claim that it is under-regulated.

But the industry associations maintain that the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act provides adequate protection - and that will be strengthened further when the long-awaited good manufacturing guidelines are finally published, anticipated for early 2006.

Nonetheless, if one sub-standard product attracts negative publicity, there is a risk that the whole industry will be tarred with the same brush.

"Collaboration between organizations is the key to addressing the many quality issues required for creating a strong foundation of quality for the botanical products industry,"​ said Upton.

This is not the first time that AHP has joined forces with another organization in the botanicals field. In March it announced a strategic partnership with NSF International with the aim of boosting public confidence in botanicals and to encourage more companies to use them in their products.

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