AHPA Posts Revised Facts about Codex / EU Directive / CAFTA

(Silver Spring, MD, July 28, 2005) — An update is now available of the American Herbal Product Association (AHPA) analysis of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and its potential effect on the legal status of dietary supplements in the United States. The document, “Codex Alimentarius and dietary supplements,” was originally released in April 2005. It has now been revised to provide new information on the current status of the European Union’s Directive on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements and to address emerging concerns related to CAFTA (Central America Free Trade Agreement).

Many companies that sell herbal products have contacted AHPA in the past several months with questions about internet-based articles that express alarm about these international agreements. Particular concern has been focused on what effect, if any, these rules might have on access to supplements in the U.S.

“Now is a time for vigilance but not for unbridled panic,” stated Michael McGuffin, AHPA’s president. “It is absolutely clear that none of these new regulations will usurp the authority of the US Congress by forcing new laws that limit our rights to access a wide range of dietary supplements. Even if all three of these laws come into full force, Americans will continue to be able to make informed self-care choices and to use vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements,” he added.

The latest round of internet communications have focused on CAFTA, and claim that the part of this agreement that would reiterate our existing obligations to harmonize “sanitary and phytosanitary” (SPS) measures will result in changes to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. But these SPS measures are defined as being limited to issues that protect against the spread of pests and diseases and from risks arising from additives, contaminants and toxins.

“The CAFTA section on SPS would restate agreements that the United States has already made,” added McGuffin. “And the fact that DSHEA is not a sanitary or phytosanitary measure makes this section of CAFTA irrelevant to DSHEA.”

AHPA’s document is posted on the AHPA website at http://www.ahpa.org/05_0727_CodexAndDS.pdf.


The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal supplement industry, the only trade association devoted solely to herbal issues. AHPA is the recognized leader in representing the responsible center of the botanical trade, and is 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 responsibility with respect to the way herbs are manufactured, labeled and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org

Karen Robin, Director of Communications
Telephone: (301) 588-1171, x-107
Email: [email protected]

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