(March 22, 2007, Silver Spring, MD) — The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) honored two outstanding individuals and one AHPA-member company at its recent Member Breakfast Meeting, March 8, 2007, at the Anaheim, California, Convention Center, in conjunction with Natural Products Expo West. This is the second year of the AHPA Awards, which acknowledge individuals and organizations who make substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry. The 2007 AHPA Awards were presented to:
-- 2007 AHPA Hero: Beth Lambert, CEO of Herbalist & Alchemist (Washington, NJ). The AHPA Hero is an individual who makes outstanding contributions to AHPA committees or initiatives.
-- 2007 AHPA Herbal Insight Award: Joseph Betz, PhD, Director of the Dietary Supplement Methods and Reference Materials Program, Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health (Washington, DC). The AHPA Herbal Insight Award honors those individuals or non-commercial organizations that have a significant impact on furthering knowledge and understanding of botanicals and their uses.
-- 2007 AHPA Herbal Industry Leader: Traditional Medicinals® (Sebastopol, CA). The AHPA Herbal Industry Leader is presented to companies that set an example of outstanding business practice or organizations that work to move the industry forward above and beyond normal business practice.
"Each of the 2007 AHPA Awards recipients has provided unique leadership on issues that are important to AHPA and our members," said Michael McGuffin, AHPA's president. "Their contributions over the years are worthy of special thanks, and we are honored to acknowledge them."
Beth Lambert was named the 2007 AHPA Hero because of her invaluable contributions to AHPA over the years.
"I'm very honored by this recognition," she said. "I must say that working with such wonderful people — both the association's staff and individuals from other member companies — makes it easy and enjoyable to work with AHPA."
She was first elected to AHPA’s Board of Trustees in 2000, and has served as the Board vice chair and then chair from 2003 to 2006. Her involvement in AHPA committees sets a high standard: She currently serves as chair of AHPA's Education Committee, and for the past three years has helped to guide the development of AHPA's educational tele-seminars, which provide useful and important education at an excellent price that small member companies can afford. She also assists several other AHPA committees, including Botanical Raw Materials, Government Relations, and the Animal Products Committees. Beth also serves as the chair of the newly instituted AHPA Foundation for Education & Research on Botanicals, guiding that 501(c)(3) non-profit as it launches its initiatives.
Somehow, she has contributed all this to AHPA, and thereby the industry as a whole, while also tending to her "other" responsibilities as CEO of Herbalist & Alchemist. Throughout it all, Beth works with quiet grace, and determined focus to serve the needs of all of AHPA's constituents.
Joseph Betz, PhD, Director of the Dietary Supplement Methods and Reference Materials Program, Office of Dietary Supplements at NIH, received the 2007 AHPA Herbal Insight Award. A hard working and tireless visionary in our field, Dr. Betz saw the vital need for correct identification of botanical material used in government trials. He uniquely understands the issues from the scientific, government and industry sides as he has worked in each of these arenas.
He was AHPA's first Vice President for Scientific and Technical Affairs from 1999 until 2001. Before joining AHPA, he was a research chemist at FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition where he was a project manager for CFSAN's Plant Toxin Research Program. Dr. Betz earned his PhD in Pharmacognosy at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (now the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia). His research interests lie in the areas of toxic natural products, plant-derived foods that may prevent chronic disease, and analytical methods to determine botanical quality.
"I'm honored by this recognition. Originally, I didn't expect herbs to be my career, but now, a quarter of a century after first working with botanicals in the marketplace, my career has matured and so has this industry," Betz said. "Yet some things stay the same: those people and companies who still pay attention to quality."
Dr. Betz joined the Office of Dietary Supplements in 2001, as director of the Dietary Supplements Methods and Reference Materials Program, where he works to enhance research and training in fields relevant to dietary supplements at the NIH and to promote development of validated analytical methods and reference materials for use by industry, regulatory agencies, and clinical researchers. Dr. Betz is one of those quiet individuals who really gets quality work done and without whom, botanical science and the continuing understanding of its efficacy and safety would be sorely neglected. He is a critical champion of herbal products, unrelenting in his demands that industry and individuals step forward to do the right thing. In his current position at ODS, he also works to create an environment committed to the rigorous and unbiased scientific evaluation of botanicals.
Traditional Medicinals, a founding member company of AHPA, is the 2007 AHPA Herbal Industry Leader. Founded in 1974 in the back of a small herb shop in northern California, Traditional Medicinals' pharmacopeial teas blend modern technology and ancient wisdom, and are formulated according to well-defined systems of Traditional Herbal Medicine. They have a long-time commitment to fair trade and organic ingredients, and off-set their electricity use with wind power, utilize 100 percent recycled paper in their packaging and partner with sustainable herb sources that preserve and enhance their environments and communities.
"Traditional Medicinals is honored to be recognized for our commitment to traditional herbal medicine, therapeutic efficacy, environmental sustainability, and conservation," said Drake Sadler, Traditional Medicinals' co-founder and CEO. "We would like to acknowledge all AHPA members for their meaningful work, in terms of providing high quality botanical products as well as providing economic development and an improved quality of life for the thousands of indigenous communities that provide the majority of herbs in commerce today. As a result of our economic support, many of these native people are no longer living in poverty, their children are receiving educations, and they can now afford to invest in their communities. We have become the positive change that we all envisioned for the world decades ago, when we founded this industry, and if we mentor well the next generation of leaders, our legacy shall be preserved."
Traditional Medicinals has set its own quality specification requirements according to official quality standards published in pharmacopeial monographs. Operating a state-of-the-art manufacturing system, their internal good manufacturing practices are designed to meet or exceed the requirements of both the FDA and Health Canada's Natural Health Products Directorate. Additionally, to ensure quality, they only purchase raw materials from qualified vendors complying with all GMPs and audit their compliance regularly. Traditional Medicinals is also committed to the scientific study of its products, including qualitative and quantitative analysis of product composition, bioassays and clinical studies. They have sponsored randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies and more are planned.
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 -- AHPA’s 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.