AHPA expands staff with program development position

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Jane Wilson, AHPA's new director of program development.
Jane Wilson, AHPA's new director of program development.

Related tags: Health

To go with an expanding membership, the American Herbal Products Association has expanded its staff with the addition of Jane Wilson in the newly created role of director of program development.

“I will be developing programs to serve and benefit the membership that current staff haven’t been able to get to or fully bring to fruition. And a lot of it is just having another pair of boots on the ground or another pair of hands,”​ Wilson told NutraIngredients-USA at the Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA.

AHPA has been growing in recent years;  according to officials at the organization it now has more than 300 members. And developing programs for those members is one of the ways of demonstrating the value of their memberships.

Wilson said her first task will be to develop a CITES primer for members to understand the ins and outs of this international regulation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species covers both fauna and flora, Wilson said.

Public health background

Wilson brings a strong background in public health to her new role. In the most recent role in her 20-year career, she served as a the director of standards for NSF International, a global, private-sector, public-health organization involved in the development of consensus product standards, independent conformity assessment programs, independent auditing and testing, and education and training services for the food, water, health sciences, and sustainability sectors.

  "I am pleased to welcome Jane into the AHPA community," ​said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. "She brings many years of relevant experience to her new position developing collaborative relationships with representatives of industry, trade associations, public health officials, regulatory bodies, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders. She is a strategic addition to the AHPA staff, especially with its continuing focus on product quality and botanical identification issues."

Wilson said her main point of contact with AHPA prior to accepting the job was through McGuffin with whom she collaborated on an an international project to develop standards for Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Of course, McGuffin’s reputation precedes him.  On Thursday, New Hope Natural Media, owner of the Expo West/Engredea trade show, inducted him into its natural products industry Hall of Legends.  

As director of standards, Wilson oversaw all of NSF's standards development and maintenance activities, including NSF/ANSI 173 Dietary Supplements, NSF/ANSI 305 Personal Care Products Containing Organic Ingredients, and NSF 341 Good Manufacturing Practices for Pharmaceutical Excipients.

Wilson also served as the administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (US TAG) for ISO Technical Committee 249 Traditional Chinese Medicine (provisional), project on which she worked with McGuffin, who is the  US TAG chair.  The plans was to  to coordinate the US input into the development of international standards related to the raw materials, finished products, medical devices, and informatics systems that underpin traditional Chinese medicine systems.

Applying experience to AHPA

Wilson said she is eager to use that experience in the service of AHPA members.

“It’s taking on a new role at an organization and being able to shape it, and take some of the things I was working on with NSF and use them in a more focused way,”​ she said.

As Wilson builds out her new role at the organization to go beyond the CITES primer, she sees additional regulatory pressures on the industry, and that’s one of the areas in which she believes she’s equipped to help.

“There are more pressures coming from FDA and from the Food Safety Modernization Act,”​ Wilson said

“The challenges are anticipating or getting ahead of some of these regulatory challenges and understanding how to respond to them.

“I’ve had experience in interacting with FDA and USDA.  Usually you have a lot of common ground and you can come together so it is a win-win for the involved parties,”​ she said.

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