FWD 2 NIMH and BHMA Endorse Adulterants Program

Two Leading British Herbal Organizations Endorse Botanical Adulterants Educational Program

150-Year-Old UK Herbal Practitioners Association and Leading UK Herb Trade Association to Support ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, an International Herbal Quality Control Initiative

(AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 29, 2015) The National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) and the British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA) have recently endorsed the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, an international consortium of nonprofit organizations, analytical laboratories, industry members, professional scientists, and others that advises industry, researchers, health professionals, and additional communities about the various challenges related to adulterated herbs and botanical ingredients in commerce.

NIMH, which was founded in 1864 and is “the UK’s leading professional body representing herbal practitioners,” gave notice of its support in a letter dated December 15, 2014, from NIMH President Laura Stannard to Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) and general manager of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program. In the letter, Stannard said of the decision: “The NIMH is happy to support the Botanical Adulterants Program. In lending our name to the program we hope that other professional associations will follow our lead. The adulteration of medicinal plants is an issue of grave concern for all herbalists and everyone involved in herbal medicine worldwide.”

BHMA, founded in 1964, promotes the advancement of “the science and practice of herbal medicine in the United Kingdom. It promotes the use of herbal medicinal products manufactured to pharmaceutical standards to ensure consistently high quality and effectiveness for the consumer.”

The BHMA’s support for BAP was confirmed on January 7, 2015. In an email to Blumenthal, BHMA Chairman Dick Middleton, PhD, commented: “The BHMA is delighted to endorse and support the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program. The principle objectives of the Program are pivotal to the ongoing development of high-quality herbal health products in the US and related markets, including the United Kingdom. The core thrust of the program involving education and training will also lead to the increasing global availability of high-quality herbal materials to herbal product manufacturers. This will help to create more robust, high-quality supply chains.”

Adulteration refers to the accidental or intentional substitution or dilution of a material with an undisclosed or lower-cost ingredient, thereby giving the consumer a false sense of the value or quality of an ingredient or product containing such an adulterated ingredient.

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program is a coalition of three American nonprofit groups: ABC, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), and the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR), with more than 130 other American and international parties supporting and cooperating with the Program.

“We are most grateful and encouraged by the strong show of support for our Program that we have received from our herb colleagues in the United Kingdom,” said Blumenthal.

“There is a long and robust history of the rational and responsible use of herbs as a form of selfcare and healthcare in the UK, going back centuries. Support for our educational efforts about how to detect adulteration and fraud in the herbal market will not only help enhance the quality of herb products in the UK, but will provide greatly welcome added impetus and cooperation to the international educational efforts of our Program,” Blumenthal added.

NIMH’s endorsement of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program follows similar endorsements made by other professional organizations, including the International Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (known by its German acronym, GA) and the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP), both highly respected international organizations composed of leading medicinal plant research experts. The GA and ASP are the two largest organizations of professional researchers in the field of medicinal plants and drugs of natural origin.

“As people continue to use herbal medicines, the role of qualified practitioners in supporting them in making informed decisions is essential. This has never been more important than now with the ongoing challenge of adulterations of ingredients used in the products. The endorsement of this program by organizations with the expertise and reputation of the NIMH and BHMA will only strengthen access to high-quality herbal medicines globally,” said Michael Smith, ND, member of the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional Medicines and the ABC Advisory Board.

Other endorsements of the Botanical Adulterants Program by healthcare-oriented organizations include those from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

BHMA’s endorsement also follows the endorsements of other leading trade organizations, both internationally and in the United States. Internationally, these include the International Dietary/Food Supplement Trade Alliance (IADSA), the Australian Self Medication Industry, Complementary Medicines Australia (formerly the Complementary Healthcare Council), the Australian Tea Tree Oil Association, and, just recently, Natural Products New Zealand.

In the United States, the trade associations underwriting the Botanical Adulterants Program include the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the Natural Products Association, and the United Natural Products Alliance.

To date, the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program has published five extensively peer-reviewed and referenced articles on the history of adulteration, the adulteration of the herbs black cohosh and skullcap, and adulteration of extracts of bilberry fruit and grapefruit seed. These open-access articles are available on the Program’s webpage: www.herbalgram.org/adulterants. The Program also publishes a quarterly newsletter, “The Botanical Adulterants Monitor,” that highlights new scientific publications related to botanical authenticity and analysis to detect possible adulteration, recent regulatory actions, and Program news. Further, the Program recently released its first in a series of Laboratory Guidance Documents to help industry and third-party analytical laboratories determine the most effective analytical methods for detecting adulteration and authenticating botanical raw materials and extracts. The first of these was published on skullcap, an herb subject to documented adulteration. Additional publications from the Program are scheduled for release in the coming months.


About the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program

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 — which 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.


Underwriters and Supporters of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program (as of Jan. 29, 2015)*

Financial Underwriters
21st Century Healthcare
AdvoCare International L.P.
Agilent Technologies, Inc.
Aloecorp Inc.
Amen Clinics
Amway/Nutrilite Health Institute
Artemis International, Inc.
Aveda Corporation
Beachbody, LLC
BI Nutraceuticals
Bionorica SE
Cepham, Inc.
Chemi Nutra
CNCA Health
Crila Health
dicentra, Inc.
Doctor's Best
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
DSM Nutritional Products, Inc.
Emerson Ecologics
Enzymatic Therapy, Inc.
Ethical Naturals, Inc.
Eu Yan Sang International
Flavex Naturextrakte GmbH
Gaia Herbs
Gencor Nutrients, Inc.
GNC, Inc.
Helios Corp.
Herb Pharm
Herbalife International, Inc.
Horphag Research
Indena USA, Inc.
Ingredient Identity
Markan Global Enterprises, Inc.
Martin Bauer, Inc.
MediHerb / Integria Healthcare
Metagenics, Inc.
Natural Factors Nutritional
    Products, Inc./Bioclinic
Natural Grocers by Vitamin
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
Financial Underwriters (cont'd)
Nutritional Laboratories
Ortho Molecular Products
Pacific Nutritional Inc.
Paragon Laboratories
Pathway International Pty
Perrigo Company
Pharmatoka SAS
Pharmavite, LLC
Polyphenolics, Division of
    Constellation Brands, Inc.
Pure Encapsulations
Rainbow Light Nutritional
Rosenbush and Zimmerman Family
RFI Ingredients, LLC
Sabinsa Corporation
Schwabe North America
Shaklee Corp
Standard Process, Inc.
Thorne Research, Inc.
Traditional Medicinals, Inc.
Triarco Industries, Inc.
Univera, Inc.
Valensa International
V.D.F. FutureCeuticals
Verdure Sciences
Vitamin Shoppe
Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Whole Foods Market

Trade Associations
Australian Self Medication
Australian Tea Tree Industry
    Association (Australia)
British Herbal Medicine Association (UK)
Complementary Medicines Australia
Consumer Healthcare Products
    Association (US)
Council for Responsible Nutrition
International Alliance of 
   Dietary/Food Supplement
   Associations (IADSA)
Natural Products Association
Natural Products New Zealand (NZ)
United Natural Products Alliance


American Association of 
    Naturopathic Physicians
American Society of
Council of Colleges of
    Acupuncture and Oriental
National Institute of Medical Herbalists
Personalized Lifestyle Medicine
Society for Medicinal Plant
    and Natural Product Research
    - GA 
Bastyr University
Boucher Institute for
   Naturopathic Medicine
National College of Natural
Southwest College of
    Naturopathic Medicine
University of Bridgeport College   
    of Naturopathic Medicine

Third-Party Analytical Laboratories
Alkemist Labs
AuthenTechnologies LLC
Bent Creek Institute
British Columbia Institute of
Covance Laboratories
Eurofins Scientific Inc.
Flora Research Labs
NSF International
Spectrix Labs
Tampa Bay Analytical

Delicious Living
Functional Ingredients
Holistic Primary Care
Informa Exhibitions US
Integrator Blog
Media Relations, Inc.
Modern Healthcare Practitioner
Natural Foods Merchandiser
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
Law Office of Holly Bayne, P.C.
Robert Forbes & Associates

Contract Research Organizations
KGK Synergize
Medicus Research

Research Institutes
Korean Ginseng Research
Shanghai Research Center for
    TCM Modernization/Shanghai
    Institute of Materia Medica of
    the Chinese Academy of