The board of trustees (BOT) of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) will meet in Anaheim, CA on Wednesday, March 5. The board will address a very diverse agenda, reflecting the varied interests of the association's membership.
The AHPA Government Relations Committee will present several items for the board's consideration—including issues related to AHPA's comments to the various rules proposed by FDA to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, GMO labeling issues, and the 20th anniversary of DSHEA. Attention will also be on developing new relationships in Congress, as retirements have been announced by one of the industry's main allies, Sen. Tom Harkin, and two of its most consistent critics, Reps. Henry Waxman and John Dingell.
AHPA's Sports Nutrition Committee, founded in 2010, has brought together numerous of the major brands in the industry and continues to address a variety of issues relevant to the category, including protein calculation and tainted products masquerading as dietary supplements. This committee will be requesting that the BOT consider adoption of a guidance policy for a voluntary standard for calculating and labeling of protein in their products.
"The AHPA Sports Nutrition Committee may well be the broadest coalition of companies in this fast-growing product category," said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. "The committee has been working for well over a year on the somewhat complex issue of protein calculation and will now engage the AHPA Board with its recommended guidance."
International issues coming before the board include a discussion of Health Canada's Natural Health Product Directorate's draft monograph on traditional Chinese medicine, as well as AHPA's involvement with the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). AHPA's International Committee will also report on the opportunity that may exist to have input on the current U.S. negotiations with the European Union under the proposed free-trade agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The AHPA Analytical Labs Committee will continue its focus on several important projects, including the development of the Analytical Labs Capabilities Database, which will make it easy for industry to locate contract labs that can perform testing on herbal ingredients for identity, in-process, and finished product testing, and the AHPA Botanical Ingredient References Compendium. These projects, once active, will bring valuable new resources to the industry on both methods for in-house usage and locating qualified contract labs capable of meeting their regulatory and quality needs.
"The agenda that will be presented to the AHPA board of trustees is indicative of the great diversity of AHPA's membership," commented McGuffin. "The breadth of issues before the board reflects the fact that AHPA's scope of interests is not limited to just "American" or "herbal" matters, since our members continue to seek consensus solutions to the many issues that confront other product categories both in the U.S. and abroad."