“We still see the same issues [regarding quality], and these things are still lingering even with everything the industry has experienced over the last couple of years,” Jaksch told us, referring to the extensive changes the industry has undergone since the New York Attorney General launched his probe into herbal supplements in February 2015.
“It’s still the basics,” he added. “It’s a failure to set specifications; a failure to perform basic identity testing; a failure to do appropriate testing. This is more widespread than you’d think.
Jaksch continued: “Analytical methods get pointed at a lot, but they have nothing to do with the problem. The problem is everything else. Analytical testing is used as the scapegoat.
Solution is outside the lab
Jaksch explained that the key to solving problems with analytical testing lies outside of the laboratory.
“Analytical testing is something a company should do to confirm what they should already know through sound supply chain management practices,” he said. “Qualification, audit, inspection and approval of suppliers or vendors is a key part of an appropriate supply chain management plan.
“Selection and approval of appropriate analytical testing methods is a critical part of vendor qualification, however it is often overlooked as a part of the process.
“Business practices, and especially purchasing practices within the industry, need to change, and if they do not change, analytical testing will continue to be the whipping post for years to come.”
Jaksch will speak at length about this subject at the upcoming 17th Annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals in Oxford, Mississippi (April 3-6, 2017). For more information and to register for this event, please click HERE.
“I have two main goals for the presentation,” he said. “First, to point the area where the problem lies. Although there may be a lot of arguing over analytic methods and which is best, the problem lies elsewhere. And second, I will point out what good practices should really look like.”