New extract labeling guidance for herbal extract products

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Herbal, American herbal products association

A new labeling requirement for herbal extract products has been introduced by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) to take effect from September 11 this year.

From that date, the use of the word “extract” in the labeling of herbal ingredients will not be used to describe plant materials that have not been extracted with one or more solvent. In addition quantitative extraction ratios (for example 4:1) will not be used to represent the ratio between the fresh and dried weight of a herb, or on any product that is not an extract.

Modify their labels

The association’s president Michael McGuffin told that the vast majority of AHPA members already complied with the new rule. Only 0.5 percent to 1 percent of companies will have to modify their labels to comply, he said.

The new guidelines have been introduced in order to modernize the original guidance established, designed to cover solely hoodia herbals, in 2006.

McGuffin said that US retail sales of herbal products amounted to about $5bn a year. Of that total, herbal extracts accounted for between one third to one half adding up to sales of around $2bn year.

Although adherence to AHPA guidance is not an obligation of membership, the association recommends members and industry to follow its guidelines and trade requirements.

In October 2008, AHPA adopted a trade requirement on how the word “extract” may be used in labeling of herbal ingredients, and established a restriction against the use of the word extract to describe dehydrated plant materials that have not been subject to additional processing other than size reduction, such as cutting or milling.


Meanwhile, AHPA recently honored McGuffin for 20 years of service to the association. Board of Trustee’s Chair Katie Huggins said AHPA is proud of what has been accomplished under McGuffin’s leadership.

Huggins highlighted his contribution to spearheading the request for mandatory reporting of serious adverse events; ensuring a place for dietary supplements under the scope of the National Organic Program (NOP); and providing industry with self-regulatory guidance, policies and trade requirements.

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