The American Herbal Products Association announces winners of the 2011 AHPA awards

The American Herbal Products Association announces winners of the 2011 AHPA awards

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has announced that the winners of its sixth annual AHPA Awards to recognize individuals and companies making substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has announced that the winners of its sixth annual AHPA Awards to recognize individuals and companies making substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry.

The 2011 AHPA Awards will be presented during the association's Annual Member Meeting on March 10, held in conjunction with the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.

"AHPA honors and thanks these leaders for their significant contributions to the herbal products industry," says Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. "Each honoree is committed to excellence and understands that continual industry growth depends on the individual actions and decisions made by members of our business and education communities."

This year's award winners are:

The AHPA Herbal Hero Award, which recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to AHPA committees or initiatives, is awarded to Edward J. Fletcher, chief operating officer of Strategic Sourcing, Inc., in Reading, Pa.

Fletcher learned the business of cultivated and sustainably harvested medicinal botanicals from the roots up: propagating and growing Native American wildflowers in his family's ornamental nursery business. He currently serves on AHPA's Raw Materials Committee as chairperson, the Advisory Council of the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs, and the Botanical Advisory Panel of United States Pharmacopeia.

The AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award, which recognizes companies that set an example of outstanding business practices or organizations that work to move the industry forward above and beyond normal business practices, is awarded to NOW Foods, based in Bloomingdale, Ill.

A family-owned company since its inception in 1968, NOW Foods enters its sixth decade of providing health-seeking consumers with high-quality, affordable nutrition products. The company has always placed high value on knowledge and learning within its organization as well as on environmental sustainability. Along with those qualities, NOW Foods is recognized for the honesty, integrity and respect not only for the advancement of good health but also for the relationships of trust and respect the firm has built with both vendors and employees.

The AHPA Herbal Insight Award recognizes individuals or non-commercial organizations that have a significant impact on furthering knowledge and understanding of botanicals and their uses.

This year the Award is presented to the members of the Expert Advisory Council for the revision to AHPA's Botanical Safety Handbook, which provides safety data on more than 600 herbs as guidelines for product labels, including contraindications, side effects, and special warnings. This team of professionals dedicated their life-long knowledge to voluntarily review the current information on botanical safety, providing an invaluable service to the herbal community. The revised edition of the Botanical Safety Handbook will be published late this year or in early 2012.

The 2011 AHPA Herbal Insight Award goes to:

·         Zoë Gardner, PhD, R&D Project Manager at Sebastopol, Calif.-based Traditional Medicinals, and team leader

·         Michael McGuffin, AHPA President

·         Roy Upton, Executive Director of the American Herbal Pharmacopeia

·         Mary Hardy, MD, Medical Director of the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology

·         Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Director of the Fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona

·         Aviva Romm, MD, medical practitioner and President of the American Herbalists Guild

·         Soaring Bear, PhD, pharmacologist

·         David Winston, herbalist, educator, and ethnobotanist

·         Lyle Craker, PhD, Professor, University of Massachusetts

·         Daniel Gagnon, herbalist and President of Santa Fe, N.M.-based Herbs, Etc.

Special Award: The 2011 AHPA Visionary Award, in recognition of unwavering, persistent dedication in the advancement of all-natural stevia, goes to James A. May, CEO of Wisdom Natural Brands of Gilbert, Ariz.

Founder and president of the SweetLeaf stevia brand, May began importing stevia into the United States in 1982 and worked for more than 25 years to achieve regulatory approval. Considered one of the world's foremost experts on stevia, May has been widely lauded for his leadership in spawning a new industry. AHPA recognizes May for his tireless championing of stevia as an agricultural crop in developing countries for family farmers and for promoting stevia as a natural sweetener that could have a role in fighting childhood obesity and preventing diabetes.

To learn more about AHPA events and meetings held during Natural Products Expo West March 10-14, 2011 click here.

About the American Herbal Products Association

The American Herbal Products Association is the national trade association for 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 non-prescription drugs. Founded in 1982, AHPA's mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products.

ahpa.org

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