Chondroitin from Shandong Zhongyuan Greentech Co., Ltd., a China-based dietary ingredient supplier, has recently been tested for purity by the Natural Products Association’s (NPA) raw ingredient testing program in China. The results of those tests are now available to members on the NPA’s Web site. (www.naturalproductsassoc.org/testing)
The NPA ingredient testing program was featured, along with the association’s good manufacturing practices (GMP) certification program, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ July 2008 Interagency Working Group Report to the President on Import Safety as positive private sector initiatives to improve product quality, safety and transparency. (http://www.importsafety.gov/report/actionupdate/actionplanupdate.pdf)
The China raw materials testing program was launched in 2007, with testing of dietary supplement materials provided by U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) through its lab in Shanghai, in response to industry efforts to maintain product quality and reliability throughout the supply chain. Instead of relying either on tests provided by China or post-shipment tests, U.S. manufacturers can test the quality of Chinese raw materials prior to shipment. The testing of ingredients from China-based companies is coordinated between the NPA headquarters in Washington and the NPA-China office in Beijing.
As a benefit of membership, NPA members can access an online database of suppliers’ test results for consideration when making contractual decisions. The association’s program also offers Chinese suppliers a competitive edge as well as a chance to prove the quality of their products.
The raw materials testing program can be used to test a wide variety of ingredients, for a broad range of specifications as needed for GMP compliance.
Natural products manufacturers or brokers that source their raw materials from China will benefit from reduced transit times and costs; greater traceability and documentation of ingredients used in the supply chain; use of state- of-the-art technology in testing; and a systematic approach to verification. Details on the program are available at www.naturalproductsassoc.org/ChinaPurity.
About the Natural Products Association
The Natural Products Association (www.naturalproductsassoc.org) is the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The association represents more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. Association members meet annually each July in Las Vegas at the association’s official tradeshow, Natural MarketPlace (www.naturalmarketplaceshow.com).