AHPA to attend upcoming CITES Conference of the Parties

(May 30, 2007) — Representatives from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) will attend the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), held in The Hague, Netherlands, June 3-15, 2007.

Michael McGuffin, AHPA’s president, and Edward Fletcher, chair of the AHPA Board of Trustees and of AHPA’s Botanical Raw Materials Committee, will observe the meeting in their capacity as an invited national non-governmental organization. AHPA is the only American trade association – in fact, the only herbal-based trade association anywhere in the world – to take an active role in attending CITES meetings, ensuring that herbal products industry interests are considered and protected.

Most recently, McGuffin attended the 16th meeting of the CITES Plants Committee in Lima, Peru, last July. His report on that meeting is in the August 2006 AHPA Report. Mr. Fletcher, of Strategic Sourcing, attended the 12th full Conference of the Parties on AHPA’s behalf in 2002.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (http://www.cites.org/) was adopted in 1975 by 80 countries to serve as an international agreement “on regulation of export, transit and import of rare or threatened wildlife species.” Currently, 171 countries are Parties to CITES. Since then, the number of species listed in one or another of the CITES Appendices, each of which sets varying levels of restriction on international trade, has grown to more than 5,000 species of animals and roughly 28,000 plants. The vast majority of the plant species are not used in the U.S. as medicinal or therapeutic agents or as ingredients in dietary supplements. Those that are used as such ingredients are of particular interest to AHPA and its members.

At the upcoming meeting, several plant species used in the botanical products trade are under consideration, including:

- goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis),

- Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng),

- American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius),

- picrorhiza (Picrorhiza kurrooa),

- Himalayan mayapple (Podophyllum hexandrum),

- red saunders or red sandlewood (Pterocarpus santalinus), and

- rauwolfia or Indian snakeroot (Rauvolfia serpentina).

Initial financial support to offset AHPA’s transportation costs has been pledged by:

- Allen Lockard (American Botanicals),

- Tony Hayes (Ridge Runner Trading Co.),

- Mitch McCullough (Ohio River Ginseng & Herb),

- Brent Duncan (Duncan’s Botanical Products), and

- Cliff Wilson (Wilson Fur & Ginseng).

Additional donors are welcome to contribute as well, by contacting Michael McGuffin (email to: [email protected]).


The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the only national trade association devoted to herbal issues. Representing the core of the botanical trade -- comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products -- our mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of quality with respect to the way herbal products are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org.

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