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International Health Professional Groups Endorse ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program
AcademyofIntegrativeHealthandMedicine,IntegrativeHealthcarePolicyConsortium,AmericanHerbalistsGuild,andIrishRegisterofHerbalists
(AUSTIN,Texas,May5,2015)FourhealthpractitionergroupshaveofferedtheirendorsementandsupporttotheABC-AHP-NCNPRBotanicalAdulterantsProgram.TheProgramisaninternationalconsortiumofnonprofitorganizations,analyticallaboratories,professionalscientists,healthcarepractitioners,industrymembers,andothersthateducatesandprovidesadviceaboutthevariouschallengesrelatedtoadulteratedherbs,botanicalextracts,andbotanicalingredientsincommerce.TheAcademyofIntegrativeHealthandMedicine(AIHM),theAmericanHerbalistsGuild(AHG),theIntegrativeHealthcarePolicyConsortium(IHPC),andtheIrishRegisterofHerbalists(IRH)collectivelyrepresenthundredsofthousandsofintegrativehealthpractitionersacrosstheUnitedStatesandIreland.TheABC-AHP-NCNPRBotanicalAdulterantsProgramisacoalitionofthreeAmericannonprofitgroups:theAmericanBotanicalCouncil(ABC),theAmericanHerbalPharmacopoeia(AHP),andtheUniversityofMississippi’sNationalCenterforNaturalProductsResearch(NCNPR),withmorethan140otherAmericanandinternationalpartiessupportingandcooperatingwiththeProgram.Adulterationreferstotheaccidentalorintentionalsubstitutionordilutionofamaterialwithanundisclosed,usuallylower-costingredient,therebygivingtheconsumerafalsesenseofthevalueorqualityofaningredientorproductcontainingsuchanadulteratedingredient.

AIHMisaprofessionalgroupthatbringstogethermanydifferentlicensedintegrativehealthpractitioners,includingfamilydoctors,acupuncturists,nurses,psychologists,anddoctorsoforientalmedicine,andadvocatesforaffordabilityandaccessibilityforpatients.TheAcademyalsoofferscoursesforcontinuingeducationinintegrativemedicineandhealthcarestrategies.InaletterdatedJanuary21,2015,AIHMExecutiveDirectorNancySudak,MD,wrote,“Wesupport[theProgram’s]missiontopreservebotanicalpurity,andthankyoufortheeffortthatthe[Program]hasmadetoexposethechallengesassociatedwithadulteratedherbsincommercearoundtheworld.Wewillbeproudtoaddournameto[the]growinglistofunderwriters,endorsers,andsupporters.”Foundedin2003,IHPCadvocatesforanintegrativehealthcaresystemwithequalaccesstoafullrangeofhealth-oriented,person-centered,regulatedhealthcareprofessionals.IHPCrepresentsmorethan400,000licensedprofessionalsand,byextension,millionsofpatients,regardingtheadvancementofintegrativehealthintheUnitedStates.The25-year-oldAHGpromotestheprofessionofclinicalherbalismandaccesstoherbalmedicine.TheGuildcelebratesthediversityofthepracticeandencouragesthedevelopmentofhigheducationstandardsforitsmembers.AHGmembersrangefromthosewhopracticetraditionalandindigenousherbalismtomodernclinicalphytotherapy.AHGExecutiveDirectorMimiHernandez,MS,RH(AHG),confirmingtheendorsement,wrote,“TheadulterationofherbalmedicinesthroughouthistoryhashadadeepimpactontheintegrityofprofessionalherbalistsandIamcertainthatourmembershipwillbenefitfromtheimportanteducationalaspectsoftheProgramaswellastheconfidenceattributedtoahigh-qualitysupplychainofherbalmedicines.”TheIRHisaprofessionalassociationfortraditionalherbalistsinIreland.“TheIRH[supports]theBotanicalAdulterantsProgrambecausewestronglybelieveinthesafetyandefficacyoftheherbsweuseinclinicalpractice,”wroteIRHVicePresidentDannyO’Rawe,ND.“AsanaccountableprofessionalorganizationforherbalistsinIrelandofalltraditions,partofourroleistopromotebestpracticethroughouttheherbalsectorandwehavenohesitationinsupportingthisimportantinitiativetokeeptheherbchainfreeofadulterationandcontaminationforthegoodofourselvesandfuturegenerations.”“WearemostgratefultotheseorganizationsofhealthcareprovidersfortheirexpressionofsupportfortheBotanicalAdulterantsProgram,”saidABCFounderandExecutiveDirectorMarkBlumenthal.“AlthoughmuchoftheProgramisfocusedoneducatingmembersofindustryabouttheconfirmedcasesofadulterationofherbs,extracts,andotherbotanicalmaterials,wearealsoattemptingtohelpeducateotherstakeholdersinthedomainofherbalmedicine,particularlyhealthcareproviderswhorecommendand/orutilizebotanicalpreparationsintheirclinicalpractice.”TheBotanicalAdulterantsProgramwaspreviouslyendorsedbytheNationalInstituteofMedicalHerbalists,a150-year-oldorganizationrepresentingherbalmedicinepractitionersintheUnitedKingdom,andtheBritishHerbalMedicineAssociation.OtherendorsingorganizationsofhealthcareprofessionalsincludetheAmericanAssociationofNaturopathicPhysicians,theCouncilofCollegesofAcupunctureandOrientalMedicine,andthePersonalizedLifestyleMedicineInstitute.TheProgramhasalsobeenendorsedbyleadingorganizationsofmedicinalplantresearchscientists,includingtheAmericanSocietyofPharmacognosy,theSocietyforMedicinalPlantandNaturalProductResearch(GA),andtheNaturalHealthProductsResearchSocietyofCanada.TheABC-AHP-NCNPRBotanicalAdulterantsProgramhaspublishedextensivelypeer-reviewedandreferencedarticlesonthehistoryofadulteration,adulterationoftheherbsblackcohoshandskullcap,andadulterationofbilberryfruitextractandso-called“grapefruitseedextract.”Theseopen-accessarticlesareavailableontheProgram’swebpage.TheProgramalsopublishesaquarterlynewsletter,“TheBotanicalAdulterantsMonitor,”whichhighlightsnewscientificpublicationsrelatedtobotanicalauthenticityandanalysistodetectpossibleadulteration,recentregulatoryactions,andProgramnews.ThelatestissueoftheMonitor,releasedinMarch2015,containssummariesofnewresearchonadulterationofbotanicalsusedinAyurvedictraditionalmedicineinIndia,proanthocyanidin-containingextractsfromfruitsources,andtruecinnamon,amongothers.TheProgramrecentlyreleaseditsfirstinaseriesofLaboratoryGuidanceDocumentstohelpindustryandthird-partyanalyticallaboratoriesdeterminethemosteffectiveanalyticalmethodsfordetectingadulterationandauthenticatingbotanicalrawmaterialsandextracts.Thefirstofthesewaspublishedonskullcap,anherbsubjecttodocumentedadulteration.AdditionalpublicationsfromtheProgram,includingLaboratoryGuidanceDocumentsonbilberryextractandblackcohosh,arescheduledforreleaseinthecomingmonths.