The U.S. Pharmacopeia has established a Botanical Advisory Panel that will advise USP's Dietary Supplements-Botanicals Expert Committee on the development of information on improving the quality of botanicals.
The panel held its first meeting in November and agreed to focus its efforts on valerian, ginger, black cohosh and saw palmetto, which have USP monographs. The panel also plans to create additional information chapters in the USP-National Formulary.
Topics for future discussion include botanicals' historical use, identification, global regulatory status, good agricultural practices and handling. The information will supplement the standards in the USP-NF. The panel will also explore the feasibility of developing authentic plant reference materials.
The panel is composed of 12 members from academia, government and industry, and is headed by William Popin, director of research and development and quality for Young Living Essential Oils. Other members of the panel include: Simon Mills, professor at the University of Exeter in Devon, England; Rudolf Bauer, professor at the Institut fuer Pharmakognosie, Graz, Austria; Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the Austin, Texas-based American Botanical Council; Amala Raman, senior postgraduate tutor at King's College, London; Roy Upton, executive director of American Herbal Pharmacopoeia; John Cardellina, vice president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition in Washington, D.C.; James Miller, curator and head of the Applied Research Department at the Missouri Botanical Garden; Greg Pennyroyal, president of Growing Medicine Inc.; Ezio Bomabardelli of Indena S.p.A.! in Milan; Kathy Sharpless from the Analytical Chemistry Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Edward Fletcher from Strategic Sourcing Inc.
Steve Taormina is a freelance writer in Nederland, Colo.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 2/p. 14