Dr Joe Betz Joins ABC Board of Trustees

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Werner Meidinger / Getty Images
© Werner Meidinger / Getty Images

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Joe Betz, PhD, an internationally respected pharmacognosist and former FDA and NIH official, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the American Botanical Council (ABC).

Dr Betz served in the United States government for 33 years, 12 years as a research chemist at the US Food and Drug Administration, and 21 years at the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). For the past four-and-a-half years, he was the acting director of ODS. 

Betz’s scientific research in medicinal plants was acknowledged by ABC when it bestowed upon him the first ABC Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award in 2006, an award that was designated by the late Professor Farnsworth himself. Dr. Betz has been a member of the ABC Advisory Board for over 25 years, since 1996 during his tenure as a research scientist at the US FDA. 

“I have known Joe as a friend and colleague for over 45 years,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal, “and I have appreciated his support for ABC and our unique nonprofit research and educational mission while he has served actively as a highly valued member of the ABC advisory board for 25 years.

“Now that he has retired from over 30 years as one of the leading experts on medicinal plant research in the US government, it is a great benefit to the global medicinal plant community that he has joined the ABC Board of Trustees so he can continue his deep scientific experience in the public’s interest via ABC’s extensive nonprofit platform.”

On his election to the ABC Board of Trustees, Dr Betz said: “I am deeply honored to join the Board of Trustees of the American Botanical Council. The educational vision is sweeping and accessible, artful and rigorous. This is in no small part due to the dedication and excellence of staff and the efforts of current and past Board Members. I am humbled to join such an elite group and to stand with them on the shoulders of the giants who preceded us.” 

Stefan Gafner, PhD, ABC’s chief science officer and director of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP), said “It’s a great privilege to have someone of Dr. Betz’ caliber on the ABC board of trustees. He has devoted his entire career to the science of medicinal plants, and he is considered one of the foremost experts in medicinal plant analysis. He is one of the most respected scientists in the area of herbal dietary supplements due to his scholarship, extensive knowledge, integrity, and his respectful personality. He is one of the people I have always admired and I really look forward to working with him more closely.” 

Dr. Betz is the author or co-author of 109 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 13 book chapters. In addition to the above-mentioned honors, he has also received the American Society of Pharmacognosy’s Tyler Prize and the American Herbal Product Association's Herbal Insight Award for Contributions to the Botanical Sciences.



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