FWD 2 Botanical Adulterants Monitor

Monitor Header Issue 8

Dear Reader

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program (BAP) has just published the first in a series of two extensive papers by Steven Foster on the adulteration of ginseng (Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius, Araliaceae) as the cover story in HerbalGram 111. This first part explains the history of ginseng taxonomy, nomenclature, and trade as a basis for understanding adulteration. Issues with ginseng adulteration observed in the current marketplace will be discussed in the second paper.


  Stefan Gafner, PhD
Chief Science Officer, ABC
Technical Director, ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program

ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program

Recent News 

Arnica, Black Cohosh, and Goldenseal Botanical Adulterants Bulletins Published by ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program 

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program (BAP) has released three publications in the new series of brief reviews on adulteration of botanicals and botanical ingredients. The documents provide an overview on adulteration of arnica (Arnica montana, Asteraceae) flower, black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, Ranunculaceae) root and rhizome, and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis, Ranunculaceae) root, and were authored by Wendy Applequist, PhD, Stefan Gafner, PhD, and Michael Tims, PhD, respectively. 

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National Animal Supplement Council Endorses BAP 

Founded in 2001, the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) is an American trade association of stakeholders concerned with the issues surrounding the supply of health supplements for companion animals, i.e., dogs, cats, and horses. 

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ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program Welcomes New Supporters and Underwriters 

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Industry Alerts

Alleged Saw Palmetto Adulteration 

Euromed S.A. (Barcelona, Spain), a global provider of analytical services, alerted the Botanical Adulterants Program of a number of cases of saw palmetto adulteration. Four saw palmetto batches originating from China were analyzed – among other tests. 

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Upcoming Events

Below are descriptions and links to some of the upcoming conferences, seminars, and workshops that may be of interest to learn more on adulteration.

Dietary Supplements – Botanical Materials Verification at SupplySide West
Las Vegas, NV: October 4th, 2016

HPTLC for the Identification of Botanical Materials
Wilmington, NC: October 24th – 25th, 2016

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Previous Issues of “Botanical Adulterants Monitor”

Available here.

Science Update

Ginkgo Adulteration, Part 1: Publication Suggests Many Ginkgo Supplements Are of Low Quality

Booker A, Frommenwiler D, Reich E, Horsfield S, Heinrich M. Adulteration and poor quality of Ginkgo biloba supplements. J Herb Med. 2016;6(2):79-87.

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Ginkgo Adulteration, Part 2: Analysis of 20 Batches of Powdered Ginkgo Extract from One Supplier Shows Inconsistent Quality

Yang J, Wang AQ, Li XJ, Fan X, Yin SS, Lan K. A chemical profiling strategy for semi-quantitative analysis of flavonoids in ginkgo extracts. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2016;123:147-154.

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Evaluation of the Authenticity and Quality of Top-Selling Boswellia Products by HPLC-Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry

Meins J, Artaria C, Riva A, Morazzoni P, Schubert-Zsilavecz M, Abdel-Tawab M. Survey on the quality of the top-selling European and American botanical dietary supplements containing boswellic acids. Planta Med. 2016;82(6):573-579. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-103497.

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HPLC-UV Fingerprinting Method to Authenticate Guggul

Ahmed R, Wang YH, Ali Z, Smillie TJ, Khan IA. HPLC method for chemical fingerprinting of guggul (Commiphora wightii) – quantification of E- and Z-guggulsterones and detection of possible adulterants. Planta Med. 2016;82(4):356-361. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1558211.

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Analysis of 78 Commercial Oregano Spice Products Finds 24% Adulteration Rate

Reviewed: Black C, Haughey SA, Chevallier OP, Galvin-King P, Elliott CT. A comprehensive strategy to detect the fraudulent adulteration of herbs: The oregano approach. Food Chem. 2016;210:551-557.


HPLC-UV Analysis of Commercial Blackberry, Black Raspberry, Red Raspberry, Strawberry, and Cherry Food and Dietary Supplement Products Provides Evidence for Quality Issues

Lee J. Rosaceae products: Anthocyanin quality and comparisons between dietary supplements and foods. NFS Journal. 2016;4:1-8.

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Food colorants in St. John’s wort, genistein in ginkgo leaves? A review on new research on quality control of botanicals presented at the Joint Natural Products Conference (JNPC) in Copenhagen, Denmark

The 9th Joint Natural Products Conference (also known as the International Congress on Natural Products Research [ICNPR]) was held from July 24-27, 2016, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Useful Links and Resources

For more information and updates on the work of the three partner organizations of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, please visit ABC at www.herbalgram.org, AHP at www.herbal-ahp.org, and NCNPR at www.pharmacy.olemiss.edu/ncnpr.

Other Helpful Resources and Links

AHPA Botanical Identity References Compendium:

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About the

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program is a consortium of independent nonprofit organizations whose mission relates to education, scientific research, and quality of botanical dietary ingredients and related plant-derived materials. The consortium is headed by three nonprofit groups dealing with education and research on medicinal herbs and other beneficial plants: the American Botanical Council, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi. The program is underwritten or endorsed by more than 130 natural products industry companies, independent analytical laboratories, contract research organizations, nonprofit and professional organizations, trade associations, accredited institutions of education in natural medicine, law firms, and media companies that are involved in the production, supply, manufacture, distribution, marketing, analysis, research, and/or education of herbal dietary ingredients and supplements, in the United States and internationally. All publications of the Program are available free-access on its homepage including the “Botanical Adulterants Monitor,” an e-newsletter that conveys Program news, regulatory updates, and recent scientific publications related to adulteration, contamination, identity, and authenticity of botanical raw materials, extracts, and essential oils. Companies, organizations, foundations, and/or individuals interested in supporting this program are invited to contact Ms. Denise Meikel, ABC Development Director, at (512) 926-4900, ext. 120, or by email.


Thank You to Our Supporters

Underwriters and Supporters of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program (as of Oct 1, 2016)*

Financial Underwriters

21st Century Healthcare

AdvoCare International L.P.

Agilent Technologies, Inc.

Aloecorp, Inc.

Amen Clinics

Amway/Nutrilite Health Institute

Artemis International, Inc.

Atrium Innovations

Aveda Corporation

Beachbody, LLC

BI Nutraceuticals


Bionorica SE


Botanical Liaisons

Bruker BioSpin


Cepham, Inc.

Chemi Nutra

CNCA Health

Crila Health

dicentra, Inc.

Doctor’s Best

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

DolCas Biotech, LLC

Douglas Laboratories

Draco Natural Products

Emerson Ecologics

Enzymatic Therapy, Inc.

Ethical Naturals, Inc.

Eu Yan Sang International




Flavex Naturextrakte GmbH


Gaia Herbs

GE Nutrients, Inc.

Global Health Industries

GNC, Inc.

Healthy Lifestyle Brands, LLC

Helios Corp.

Herb Pharm

Herbalife International, Inc.

Horphag Research


Indena USA, Inc.

Indfrag Limited

Ingredient Identity

Jarrow Formulas

Layn USA, Inc.


Markan Global Enterprises, Inc.

Martin Bauer, Inc.

MediHerb / Integria Healthcare

Metagenics, Inc.

Natreon, Inc.

Natural Alternatives International, Inc.

Natural Factors Nutritional Products, Inc.
   /Bioclinic Naturals 
Financial Underwriters

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd.

Nature's Sunshine Products

Nature's Way

Naturex, Inc.

NBTY, Inc.

New Chapter, Inc.

The New Frontier Foundation Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

Ningbo Greenhealth Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Novel Ingredients

NOW Foods

Nu Skin Enterprises/Pharmanex

Nutraceuticals Corp.

Organic India

Ortho Molecular Products

Pacific Nutritional Inc.

Paragon Laboratories

Pathway International Pty Limited

Perrigo Company

Pharmatoka SAS

Pharmavite, LLC

Phoenix Formulations

PLT Health Solutions, Inc.

Polyphenolics, Division of Constellation Brands, Inc.

Pure Encapsulations

Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems

RFI Ingredients, LLC

Rosenbush and Zimmerman Family Fund

Sabinsa Corporation

Schwabe North America


Shaklee Corp.

Standard Process, Inc.

Strategic Sourcing, Inc.

Thorne Research, Inc.

Traditional Medicinals, Inc.

TSI Group


Univera, Inc.

Valensa International

V.D.F. FutureCeuticals

Verdure Sciences

Vitamin Shoppe

VitaQuest International

Whole Foods Market

Trade Associations

American Herbal Products Association (US)

Australian Self Medication Industry (Australia)

Australian Tea Tree Industry Association (Australia)

British Herbal Medicine Association (UK)

Canadian Health Food Association (Canada)

Complementary Medicines Australia (Australia)

Consumer Healthcare Products Association (US)

Council for Responsible Nutrition (US)

International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA)

National Animal Supplement Council (US)

Natural Products Association (US)

Natural Products New Zealand (NZ)

United Natural Products Alliance (US)

Nonprofit/Professional Associations

Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

American Herbalists Guild

American Society of Pharmacognosy

AOAC International

Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States
Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium

Irish Register of Herbalists (IRE)

National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK)

Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada (NHPRS Canada)

Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute

Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA)


Bastyr University

Boucher Institute for Naturopathic Medicine

Center for Natural Products Technologies, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois-Chicago

Hong Kong Baptist University’s School of Chinese Medicine

National College of Natural Medicine

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine
Third-Party Analytical Laboratories

Alkemist Labs

AuthenTechnologies LLC

Bent Creek Institute

BotaniCert (France)

British Columbia Institute of Technology


Covance Laboratories

Creative Accord, LLC

Eurofins Scientific Inc.

Flora Research Labs

NSF International

PhytoLab (Germany)

Spectrix Labs

Tampa Bay Analytical


Alive Publishing Group

Delicious Living


Holistic Primary Care

Informa Exhibitions US

Integrator Blog

Media Relations, Inc.

Modern Healthcare Practitioner

Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Medicine Journal

Natural Products INSIDER


Nutraceuticals World


Nutrition Business Journal

Nutrition Industry Executive

Nutritional Outlook

Vitamin Retailer

WholeFoods Magazine


Law Firms & Regulatory Consultants

Amin Talati & Upadhye, LLC

Greenberg Traurig, LLP (James Prochnow)

Law Office of Holly Bayne, P.C.

Robert Forbes & Associates

Susan Brienza, LLC

Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, LLP

Contract Research Organizations

KGK Synergize


Research Institutes

Korean Ginseng Research Institute

Shanghai Research Center for TCM Modernization/Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica of the Chinese Academy of Sciences


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