NSF Certification Helps Ease Contamination Concerns

May 30, 2010

3 Min Read
NSF Certification Helps Ease Contamination Concerns

Recent news coverage has consumers concerned about the alarming amount of contaminants, such as pesticides and heavy metals, being found in herbal supplements. NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit public health organization, helps ease these concerns by testing and certifying supplements to ensure they are free of undeclared substances and unacceptable contaminants.

NSF International's Nutritional Supplement Certification Program:

· Toxicology Review: Verifies ‘what's on the label is in the bottle’ and substantiates marketing claims.

· Contaminant Review: Tests the product to ensure there are no undeclared substances in the bottle, nor is there an unacceptable level of contaminants.

· Facility Inspection: Includes an audit of the manufacturing facility and annual audits to ensure the manufacturer is adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices in producing the product.

NSF International developed the American National Standard for nutritional supplements (NSF/ANSI Standard 173), in which this certification program is based.

"A recent study on herbal nutritional supplements conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is also contributing to the fear regarding high level of contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals in supplements," said Lori Bestervelt, Ph.D., NSF International Chief Technical Officer. "Consumers can rest assured that supplements certified by NSF have been tested and meet all safety requirements."

Consumers wishing to find NSF Certified supplements can view a list of these products on NSF International's website at http://www.nsf.org/Certified/Dietary.

To help consumers make educated decisions when choosing nutritional supplements, NSF International has developed a free Nutritional Supplement Fact Kit. The fact kit helps consumers understand the information on a nutritional supplement label, including claims, and how supplements are regulated.

NSF International also certifies product through its "Free of" Athletic Banned Substances Certification program that takes the dietary supplement certification program one step further by screening products for 140+ banned substances for athletes. The program helps ensure the supplements and sports nutrition products their athletes use are free of banned substances, including stimulants, narcotics, steroids, diuretics, beta blockers, masking agents, among other substances.

For more information about NSF International's nutritional supplements certification program or to schedule an interview with a nutritional supplement expert, please contact Greta Houlahan at [email protected] or visit NSF's website.

About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide and operates in more than 120 countries. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF's Dietary Supplement Certification program verifies that what is on the label is in the bottle and that the product does not contain undeclared ingredients or contaminants. NSF's Athletic Banned Substances Certification program builds on the dietary supplement certification program by including screening that ensures the product does not contain banned or prohibited substances.

MLB, the MLB Player's Association, NFL, the NFL Player's Association, PGA, LPGA and the CCES have all chosen NSF's Certified for Sport™ program to help verify the products their athletes use are safer and free of banned substances. NSF GMP for Sport™ certification verifies that the facility, operations and ingredient sourcing are in compliance with GMP requirements via ongoing audits.

Additional NSF services include Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR).

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