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AHPA encourages submissions to supplement label database

AHPA encourages submissions to supplement label database
AHPA's board encourages members that market supplements under their own brands to submit labels for inclusion in the ODS-NLM Dietary Supplement Label Database.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) board of trustees acted at its meeting of March 4 to encourage its members that market dietary supplement products under their own brands to submit labels for inclusion in the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD). At the same meeting the AHPA board also recommended that improvements be made to the accuracy of entries in the database, and that the database be redesigned to provide only currently marketed labels through public access.

The DSLD is a joint project of the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and National Library of Medicine (NLM). The DSLD records information on dietary supplement labels and allows ready access to these for researchers interested in supplement use. AHPA has been informed by ODS that over 30,000 labels are already in the database, while the total number of supplements in the U.S. marketplace is variously estimated to be between 55,000 and 85,000.

Some supplement companies have already submitted their product labels to the DSLD for the stated purpose of providing their customers with product information to assist them in making informed purchase decisions. And though the database states that all information is obtained from the manufacturers' labels, other companies have informed AHPA that they have submitted labels in order to correct out-of-date information about their products currently listed in the DSLD.

"AHPA seeks to strengthen the DSLD by increasing the number and accuracy of supplement labels included in the database while reducing any confusion that may be caused by displaying old labels and out of date information about supplements as presently marketed," said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. "Even as we encourage our members participation we will encourage ODS and NLM to consider the industry's needs and concerns in how the database in maintained."

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