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Thomas Brendler to Receive ABC's 2019 Champion Award

AUSTIN, Texas (February 27, 2020) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces that Thomas Brendler is the recipient of the 2019 ABC Champion Award. Brendler, the founder of the consulting firm PlantaPhile, has dedicated countless hours to ABC and its publications since joining the ABC Advisory Board nearly a decade ago.

The ABC Champion Award was created to recognize individuals who have been outstanding supporters of ABC and have helped the organization promote and achieve its nonprofit research and educational mission, whether through monetary support or contributions of time. The generosity of ABC’s friends and members is vital to the nonprofit’s continued success and growth.

“I feel very honored to receive this award, as much as I feel honored to join the ranks of previous recipients,” said Brendler. “As my friend and colleague Josef Brinckmann once pointed out, we don’t do what we do with awards in mind. We find satisfaction and gratification in the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of the herb, botanical, and phytomedicinal industry. Nonetheless, as this award acknowledges my personal and professional dedication to improving the world of herbs and natural products, I am deeply grateful for the recognition.”

Throughout his 10-plus years working with ABC, Brendler has contributed to ABC publications by serving as an expert reviewer, editor, and author. Since 2010, Brendler has worked as an HerbClip Consulting Editor, helping to ensure the accuracy of ABC’s biweekly research summaries. The following year, Brendler joined the ABC Advisory Board, and he has frequently volunteered his time as a peer reviewer of articles pertaining to his numerous areas of expertise, including African medicinal plants, commercialization and regulation of medicinal plant ingredients, phytochemical analysis, and traditional and historic plant use, among other areas. In addition, Brendler co-authored the Cranberry Botanical Adulterants Prevention Bulletin for the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program in 2017.

Most recently, in late 2018, Brendler became a regular contributor to ABC’s quarterly, peer-reviewed journal HerbalGram as co-author of its in-depth Herb Profiles. Joining forces with Traditional Medicinals’ Josef Brinckmann, who received ABC’s Champion Award in 2016, Brendler is primarily responsible for the “Modern Research” and “Current Authorized Uses” sections of the profiles. His first Herb Profile, on black cohosh (Actaea racemosa), appeared in HerbalGram’s special women’s health-themed issue published in early 2019. Since then, Brendler has co-authored profiles on tongkat ali (Eurycoma longiflora), copalchi (Hintonia latiflora), guayusa (Ilex guayusa), and birch (Betula spp.)

HerbalGram Managing Editor Tyler Smith acknowledged Brendler’s ongoing contributions to the publication. “For years, Thomas has been one of our most reliable peer reviewers and contributors, and he took this commitment to another level when he signed on as co-author of HerbalGram Herb Profiles. Each profile takes dozens of hours to produce, and he and Josef regularly submit drafts before assigned deadlines. Thomas not only has expertise in a wide range of medicinal plant-related fields, but he also is a skilled writer and editor, and genuinely a pleasure to work with.”

Brendler added: “For my entire professional career of soon to be 30 years, the trinity of quality, efficacy, and safety has been my guiding principle when assisting clients with product or supply-chain development. A significant part of this effort consists of researching, assembling, and disseminating reliable information on herbs and their function, not only to my industry and academic clients, but also to the general public, the consumer. Inasmuch as this very much aligns with ABC’s nonprofit mission, goals, and intentions, it has always been both an honor and a pleasure to contribute to ABC’s endeavors as an advisor, editor, and author.”

In addition to his consulting work with PlantaPhile, Brendler is the principal scientist in the research and development department at Traditional Medicinals. He is also a co-founder of the Association of African Medicinal Plants Standards (AAMPS) and has served as its director since 2005. Further, he is affiliated with the Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Brendler has co-authored numerous books, book chapters, and scientific articles, and is on the editorial boards of Phytotherapy Research and the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. In addition to being part of the ABC Advisory Board, he is a member of multiple organizations and committees, including the US Pharmacopeial Convention Expert Committee Botanical Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines, the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA), European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP), International Society of Ethnopharmacology, and American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.

ABC created the Champion award in 2015. Previous recipients include Jim Emme, CEO of NOW Health Group (2018); Dick Griffin of Griffin Insurance Services (2017); medicinal plant expert Josef Brinckmann of Traditional Medicinals (2016); Ed Smith, co-founder of Herb Pharm (2015); and Terry Lemerond, founder of EuroPharma, Inc. and Enzymatic Therapy (2014).

Brendler will accept the award at the 15th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony in Anaheim, California, on March 4, 2020. The event, for ABC Sponsor Members, occurs during Natural Products Expo West.