The American Herbal Products Association’s (AHPA) Board of Trustees at its most recent meeting adopted new guidance policies on (1) microorganisms and mycotoxins, and (2) heavy metals  . The updated guidances are available on the AHPA Web site .
The approval of guidance policies by the Board suggests that adherence to these guidelines will support responsible trade in herbal products and is in the best interest of consumers. Therefore, AHPA highly recommends members and industry follow the association’s guidelines in addition to its trade requirements.
AHPA encourages herbal ingredient suppliers and herbal supplement manufacturers and marketers to submit information to AHPA to identify specific supplements and herbal ingredients (including geographical source and any additional pertinent information) that may require a different quantitative limit than those identified in these policies.
AHPA also encourages companies to submit information on the portion of marketed or manufactured ingredients or herbal supplements that exceed any of these limits or require reformulation or reductions in daily serving size in order to meet these limits.
“The new guidance policies are based on a careful review of microbial and other limits established by governments and organizations across the world,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “AHPA’s limits prioritize consumer safety while remaining sensitive to industry needs – a strategy that promotes both compliance and safety.”
All of AHPA’s Guidance Policies are available online at http://www.ahpa.org/Portals/0/2009/09_1118_Guidance_Policies.pdf.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal products industry. AHPA is comprised of domestic and foreign companies doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbs and herbal products, including foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and nonprescription drugs. Founded in 1982, AHPA’s mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. Website: www.ahpa.org.
 Compliance with the heavy metals guidance policy is not a substitute for compliance with California’s Proposition 65. Companies seeking information on Proposition 65 should obtain a copy of AHPA’s “Background on California Proposition 65: Issues related to heavy metals and herbal products.” AHPA members may download this document for free. It is available to non-members in the AHPAbookstore.