(July 25, 2007, Silver Spring, MD) — The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Board of Trustees has adopted two new guidance policies: one urging its members to refrain from using genetically modified herbal materials — at least until certain concerns have been resolved. The other endorses a standardized protocol for describing specifications for dietary supplement ingredients. The guidance policies were approved by AHPA’s Board of Trustees at its July 20 meeting in Las Vegas.
The guidance policy on genetically modified organisms (GMO) notes that proponents see the technology’s potential to meet basic global food needs and deliver a wide range of health, environmental and economic benefits. However, the policy also records concerns about the potential impact of agricultural use of GMO on the environment and health.
The newly adopted policy, which is not binding on AHPA members, “encourages companies that grow, process, manufacture, market or sell herbal products to refrain from using herbal raw agricultural products that are cultivated with GMO technologies, or extracts and natural flavors thereof,” at least until environmental and health concerns have been suitably addressed, and expresses support for labeling of consumer goods to identify any herbal ingredients knowingly and intentionally cultivated with GMO technologies.
The complete text of the new GMO guidance policy is on the AHPA website: http://www.ahpa.org/Default.aspx?tabid=129&aId=264&zId=13.
The Board also adopted a non-binding recommendation that AHPA members who buy and sell dietary ingredients utilize the Standardized Information on Dietary Ingredients (SIDI) protocol as a standard reporting form for providing information about these ingredients. This tool to communicate specifications between ingredient buyers and sellers was developed jointly by the industry’s trade associations as a standard reporting form for providing information about these ingredients, and to facilitate efficient exchange of information between ingredient suppliers and finished product manufacturers. This cooperative effort between the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and the Natural Products Association (NPA) provides a practical product information guideline, available online at http://www.ahpa.org/Default.aspx?tabid=69&aId=321&zId=1.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the only national trade association devoted to herbal issues. Representing the core of the botanical trade—comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products—our mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of quality with respect to the way herbal products are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org.