New cleanliness guidelines for herbal products

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Herbal products Herb Herbalism Ahpa

Promoting the responsible trade in herbal products and improving the service to consumers are the twin goals behind new guidance policies on microorganisms and mycotoxins and heavy metals from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA).

The new guidance policies are based on a careful review of microbial and other limits established by governments and organizations across the world​,” said Michael McGuffin, the association’s president. “AHPA’s limits prioritize consumer safety while remaining sensitive to industry needs – a strategy that promotes both compliance and safety​,” he added.

Trade requirements

According to a statement from the association: “The approval of guidance policies by the Board suggests that adherence to these guidelines will support responsible trade in herbal products and is in the best interest of consumers. Therefore, AHPA highly recommends members and industry follow the association’s guidelines in addition to its trade requirements​.”

It has also recommended that herbal ingredient suppliers, supplement manufacturers and marketers identify specific supplements and herbal ingredients that may need different limits than those identified in the new guidelines. Included in this request is a call to pay particular attention to the geographical source of herbal ingredients.

AHPA wants companies to submit information on the portion of marketed or manufactured ingredients or herbal supplements that exceed the limits specified in the guidelines.

Heavy metals

A full copy of the updated guidelines are available on the AHPA Web site. It’s Guidance on Heavy Metals was adopted October 2008 while its guidance on Microbiology and Mycotoxins was adopted in June 2003.

The association includes domestic and foreign companies doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbs and herbal products. These include foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics and non prescription drugs.

Its policies, covering a range of labeling and manufacturing topics, reflect the consensus of AHPA’s members and its Board of Trustees. Unlike the association’s recommendations, compliance with guidance policies is not a condition of membership.

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