AHPA Pursues Organic Status for Botanicals

AHPA’s McGuffin speaks before NOSB: Requests Board to clarify that dietary supplements are within the scope of the NOP

(Silver Spring, MD) -- Persisting in AHPA’s efforts to obtain U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmation that qualified herbal supplements can bear official organic labeling, AHPA President Michael McGuffin spoke to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) today as it met in Washington, DC.

“Dietary supplements that contain herbal ingredients are clearly within the scope of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990,” McGuffin told the board.

Over the years, positions released by the National Organic Program (NOP) have been inconsistent, and at one point would have classified all dietary supplements as “nonagricultural products” and forbade them from carrying the organic label. On the other hand, the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) clearly defines an “agricultural product” to be “any agricultural commodity or product, whether raw or processed … marketed in the United States for human or livestock consumption.”

“When my members read what the NOP has said about the inclusion of their products in the National Organic Program, they are confused,” McGuffin told the NOSB. “On the other hand, when they read the Organic Foods Production Act itself, there is no confusion whatsoever.”

McGuffin concluded, “There is no principled argument to exclude organically grown and processed herbal products from the program's scope.”

McGuffin's appearance before the NOSB today is the latest effort in AHPA’s ongoing campaign to protect organic herbal products’ eligibility to qualify for the organic label. Most recently, AHPA submitted comments in advance of this NOSB meeting, and in January proposed corrections to NOSB’s draft Scope Document of October 2004.

AHPA’s earlier efforts in this issue are detailed in the releases of October 8 (http://www.ahpa.org/pr_041008.htm) and May 27 (http://www.ahpa.org/update_04_0527.htm).


The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal supplement industry, the only trade association devoted solely to herbal issues. AHPA is the recognized leader in representing the responsible center of the botanical trade, and is comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products. AHPA’s mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of responsibility with respect to the way herbs are manufactured, labeled and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org

Karen Robin, Director of Communications
Telephone: (301) 588-1171, x-107
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ahpa.org

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