Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 16:21 EDT

America’s Largest Professional Society of Medicinal Plant Research Experts Endorses Botanical Adulteration Education Program

October 3, 2013

American Society of Pharmacognosy Lends Support to ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) has announced its endorsement of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program. This is an educational program designed to increase the herb, dietary supplements, and natural products industries’ awareness of the need for enhanced scrutiny via laboratory analysis of herbal raw materials, extracts, and essential oils that may be accidentally or purposefully adulterated with lower-cost, non-disclosed ingredients. The Program is headed by three nonprofit groups focused on research and education on medical herbs and other beneficial plants: the American Botanical Council (ABC), the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), and the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) at the University of Mississippi.

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ASP is North America’s leading organization of scientists involved with research on medicinal plants, fungi, marine organisms, and other natural materials used in the production of new medicines, comprising the essence of the science of pharmacognosy. Founded in 1959, ASP consists of more than 1,100 pharmacognosists, natural products chemists, botanists, molecular biologists, and other medicinal plant research experts from around the world.

Bradley Moore, PhD, president of ASP and a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego, wrote in a letter to American Botanical Council Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal,


ASP is making this endorsement in recognition of the laudable goals and purpose of the Program that has helped increase the quantity and quality of scientific information on the relatively widespread problem of adulteration of botanical raw materials, botanical extracts, essential oils, and other plant-derived materials, which are used in dietary supplements and possibly in therapeutic products like non-prescription medicines.

As a Society, we recognize the paramount importance of the proper identification and authentication of medicinal materials and that they be adulterant free. Such materials are regularly used for research purposes and as ingredients in consumer-based products that promote health and remedy disease.

We further recognize that the history of pharmacy and pharmacognosy acknowledges many cases in which natural products used for medicinal purposes have been adulterated, either by accident due to inadequate quality control measures, or intentionally by fraudulent sellers. Such practices are contrary to the goals of responsible pharmacy, medicine, and public health education practices.


Guido Pauli, PhD, associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy and treasurer of ASP, wrote, “Botanical adulteration is one of the reasons why botanical research can sometimes be difficult to be reproduced. The [ABC-AHP-NCNPR] Program will raise awareness of the topic, and many global experts in this area are ASP colleagues, so it is only logical for our Society to endorse this welcome effort.”

ASP joins over 100 nonprofit organizations, independent laboratories, industry members, trade associations, and others that are financially underwriting and/or endorsing the Botanical Adulterants Program. These groups are located in the United States and abroad, reflecting the global nature of the botanical material supply chain.

“Those of us working on the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program are especially honored by ASP’s recognition of the value and significance of our work in this vitally important area,” said Blumenthal. “We hope to continue to merit the trust and confidence that ASP has placed in the Program as we continue to publish extensively peer-reviewed articles and laboratory guidance documents to help members of the industry deal with this serious problem.”

According to AHP Executive Director Roy Upton, “It is wonderful to have the endorsement of ASP, as it was yesteryear’s classical pharmacognosists who were primarily responsible for ensuring that adulteration did not occur. Botanical pharmacognosy skills are exactly what are needed to ensure botanical supplement quality control.”

Bill Keller, PhD, longtime secretary of ASP, wrote,


I was quite pleased to vote for ASP’s endorsement of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program. As Vice President and Chief Scientific Resource Officer at Nature’s Sunshine Products, I am continually faced with the possibility of having our product ingredients or our finished products being adulterated with illicit substances and/or prescription drugs. The Botanical Adulterants Program is definitely providing a unique and highly valuable service to the dietary supplement industry in addressing this serious problem.


Stefan Gafner, PhD, chief science officer of ABC, noted that ASP “has become the most prominent organization of researchers interested in all aspects of natural products research in North America. I believe that it is the first time in the history of ASP that the organization supports a program through an endorsement, and it is a privilege that ASP chose to do so for the Botanical Adulteration Program.”

About the American Society of Pharmacognosy?

Founded in 1959, the American Society of Pharmacognosy is a professional organization of researchers of natural products used in the development of modern medicines. These natural products are derived from medicinal plants, fungi, and marine organisms. ASP, in association with the American Chemical Society, publishes a leading scientific journal, the Journal of Natural Products. More information on ASP can be found on its website at www.pharmacognosy.us.

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 underwritten or endorsed by more than 100 natural product 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. 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 Oct. 3, 2013)*

    Financial Underwriters              Trade Associations
    ----------------------              ------------------

    21st Century Healthcare             Consumer Healthcare Products Association

    AdvoCare International L.P.         Council for Responsible Nutrition

    Amen Clinics                        Natural Products Association

    Amway/Nutrilite Health Institute    United Natural Products Alliance

    Aveda Corporation

    BI Nutraceuticals                   Nonprofit/Professional Associations

    Bioceuticals                        American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

    Bionorica AG                        American Society of Pharmacognosy

    Blackmores                          Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

    Cepham, Inc.                        Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute

    Chemi Nutra

    Crinum Health                       Colleges/Universities

    dicentra, Inc.                      Bastyr University

    Doctor's Best                       Boucher Institute of Naturopathic  Medicine

    Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps           National College of Natural Medicine

    DSM Nutritional Products, Inc.      Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

    Emerson Ecologics                   University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine

    Enzymatic Therapy, Inc.

    Ethical Naturals, Inc.              Third-Party Analytical Laboratories

    Eu Yan Sang International           Alkemists Laboratories

    EuroMed                             Bent Creek Institute

    EuroMedica                          British Columbia Institute of Technology

    EuroPharma                          ChromaDex

    Flavex Naturextrakte GmbH           Covance Laboratories

    FoodState/MegaFood                  Eurofins Scientific Inc.

    Gaia Herbs                          Flora Research Labs

    Gencor Nutrients, Inc.              NSF International

    GNC, Inc.                           Spectrix Labs

    Helios Corp.                        Tampa Bay Analytical

    Herb Pharm

    Herbalife International, Inc.       Media

    Horphag Research                    Delicious Living

    Indena USA, Inc.                    Engredea

    Linnea                              Functional Ingredients

    Markan Global Enterprises, Inc.     Holistic Primary Care

    Martin Bauer, Inc.                  Integrator Blog

    Metabolic Maintenance Products      Modern Healthcare Practitioner

    Metagenics, Inc.                    Natural Foods Merchandiser

    Natural Factors Nutritional
     Products, Inc./Bioclinic Naturals  Natural Products INSIDER

    Nature's Sunshine Products          New Hope 360.com

    Nature's Way                        Nutraceuticals World

    Naturex, Inc.                       NutraingredientsUSA.com

    NBTY, Inc.                          Nutrition Business Journal

    New Chapter, Inc.                   Nutrition Industry Executive

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

    Ningbo Greenhealth Pharmaceutical
     Co., Ltd.                          Virgo Publishing

    Novel Ingredients                   Vitamin Retailer

    NOW Foods                           Whole Foods Magazine

    Nu Skin Enterprises/Pharmanex

    Nutritional Laboratories
     International                      Law Firms

    Pacific Nutritional Inc.            Amin Talati, LLC

    Paragon Laboratories                Greenberg Traurig, LLP (James Prochnow)

    Pathway International Pty Limited   Law Office of Holly Bayne, P.C.

    Perrigo Company                     Robert Forbes & Associates

    Pharmavite, LLC

    Pure Encapsulations                 Contract Research Organizations

    Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems   KGK Synergize

    RFI Ingredients, LLC                Medicus Research

    Sabinsa Corporation

    Schwabe North America               Other

    Shaklee Corp                        Shanghai Research Center for TCM Modernization

    Standard Process, Inc.              Institute of Materia Medica of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Thorne Research, Inc.

    Traditional Medicinals, Inc.

    Triarco Industries, Inc.


    Valensa International

    V.D.F. FutureCeuticals

    Verdure Sciences

    Vitamin Shoppe

    Weil Lifestyle, LLC

    Whole Foods Market


*By acknowledging the generous support of these companies and organizations, ABC, AHP, and NCNPR are not endorsing any ingredients or products that may be produced or marketed by them.

About the American Botanical Council

Founded in 1988, the American Botanical Council is a leading international nonprofit organization addressing research and educational issues regarding herbs, teas, medicinal plants, essential oils, and other beneficial plant-derived materials. ABC’s members include academic researchers and educators; libraries; health professionals and medical institutions; government agencies; members of the herb, dietary supplement, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries; journalists; consumers; and others in more than 81 countries. The organization occupies a historic 2.5-acre site in Austin, Texas, where it publishes the peer-reviewed quarterly journal HerbalGram, the monthly e-publication HerbalEGram, the weekly e-newsletter Herbal News & Events, HerbClips (summaries of scientific and clinical publications), reference books, and other educational materials. ABC also hosts HerbMedPro, a powerful herbal database, covering scientific and clinical publications on more than 250 herbs. ABC also co-produces the “Herbal Insights” segment for Healing Quest, a television series on PBS.

ABC is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. Information: Contact ABC at P.O. Box 144345, Austin, TX 78714-4345, Phone: 512-926-4900. Website: www.herbalgram.org. Contact: Public Relations.

SOURCE American Botanical Council

Source: PR Newswire