Probiotics group scraps plans for seal

The International Probiotics Association (IPA) has decided to nix its plans for a quality seal that would have created standardised criteria for CFU (colony-forming unit) count, as well as required the clear identification of probiotic strains in product packaging.

Plans for the seal were first announced in March 2008, amid much industry support.

"We have decided not to move forward with the seal due to the fact that it will be used for marketing reasons, and it will ruin the focus of our organisation," said Ioannis Misopoulos, director general of the IPA. "We are instead working on adopting quality guidelines for supplements and foods before moving into standardising some testing methodologies."

Fi first reported on the plans for a quality seal one year ago in a feature on the probiotics market.

The IPA is an international organisation with both industry and academic members. Its goal is to provide a forum for the exchange of research and advancements in probiotic technology and new-product development.

In other news, the IPA announced recently that it will produce a high-quality, one-hour documentary on probiotics to be featured on such channels as PBS and Discover, as well as several channels in Europe and Asia.

The film will feature interviews with world-renowned scientific and medical experts including microbiologist Dr Lynne McFarland, and the president of the World Gastroenterology Organization, Dr Eamonn Quigley.

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