Botanical Adulterants Program 'intended to raise the bar of awareness of the problem, and I think we've done that,' Blumenthal says

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Botanical Adulterants Program is “raising the bar of awareness of this growing problem among industry stakeholders and is trying to bring various remedies to the table,” program director Mark Blumenthal said at the SupplySide West trade show in Las Vegas.

The program is managed under the aegis of the American Botanical Council, of which Blumenthal is the founder and director.  Also cooperating in and sponsoring the program are the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and the National Center for Natural Products Research. 

The program is primarily an eductional resource, not a testing program, Blumenthal said. The goal is to reduce adulteration by informing industry stakeholders about what to look for so that they don’t become victims of either unintentional adulteration or deliberate economic adulteration. While it is not a testing program, education on the matter of testing is part of the plan.  

“One of the things we wanted to do was increase awareness in the industry of the problem.  I think we have done that fairly effectively.  Adulteration is on everybody’s tongue and every industry publication and newsletter has an article on adulteration almost every week,” ​Blumenthal said.

The program will also be releasing a series of laboratory guidance documents to spread the word about the latest validated methods for various botanicals.  “We are evaluating the fitness for purpose of some of these tests because some of them simply don’t work in today’s market,” ​Blumenthal said.

To bolster this scientific effort, the program recently announced the addition of John H. Cardellina II, PhD, as chief technical consultant and associate editor of the BAP. Cardellina is a renowned natural products and botanicals expert. He most recently worked in research and development at McCormick & Co., Inc., where he conducted research on spice and herb quality and the development of new flavors. Cardellina has worked as a chemist at the National Cancer Institute and was vice president of botanical science and regulatory affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

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