AHPA Expands Trade Requirement on Use of Metals in Traditional Products

The Board of Trustees of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) voted March 4 to expand the association’s trade requirement related to the use of traditional metal-processed herbs in products based on Ayurveda. The revised trade requirement encompasses products that may include ingredients that are either heavy metal compounds or herbs that are processed with heavy metals and are based on any tradition.

AHPA’s By-Laws defines Obligations of Membership to include “…adherence to all policies and principles of business as outlined in the Code of Ethics.” The AHPA “Code of Ethics and Business Conduct” has established that a trade requirement of the Board of Trustees constitutes an amendment to the Code. The trade requirement described in this communication, therefore, constitutes an amendment to the Code and should be considered as such by all AHPA members.

Effective Sept. 4, 2009, all AHPA members must comply with the following to remain a member in good standing:

Use of Metals in Traditional Products

Whereas some traditions, such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, may include ingredients that are heavy metal compounds or herbs that are processed with heavy metals; and whereas the presence of several of these heavy metals in dietary supplements sold in the United States may cause such supplement products to be adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; therefore, manufacturers and marketers of products that are based on such traditions refrain from inclusion in such products of any ingredient that is processed with metals if the resultant presence of heavy metal(s) causes the product containing the ingredient(s) to be adulterated under labeled or ordinary conditions of use.

For additional information on heavy metals, and to clarify the definition of the term “heavy metals,” members are encouraged to access AHPA’s document, “Heavy metal analysis and interim recommended limits for botanical dietary supplements: White Paper.” The white paper is available free to members in the members-only download area and in the AHPA bookstore. Non-AHPA members may purchase the document from the bookstore for $250.

Accredited members of the media should contact Katia Fowler (kfowler@ahpa.org) for a press copy of the white paper and to arrange an interview with an AHPA expert.

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