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It’s not too late to make a donation to ABC and receive your free soundtrack or DVD of The Meaning of Tea, a splendid documentary from Tea Dragon Films (while supplies last). Donors who give $50-$74 receive a CD of music from The Meaning of Tea, donations of $75-$99 receive a DVD of the documentary, and donations of $100 or more receive both the CD and DVD. Donate online, by phone (1-800-373-7105), or by mail (ABC, P.O. Box 144345, Austin, Texas, 78714-4345).

Tea Dragon Films is First Adopter in the American Botanical Council’s New Adopt-An-Herb Program

January 22-25: 6th Annual Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine’s Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Update. San Diego, CA. ABC's Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal will be in San Diego for the Scripps conference to give several lectures, including his customary evening talk and Power Point presentation on 2008’s health issues as seen through the year’s cartoons.

The year 2008 closed with some big news for the herbal community. The US Food and Drug Administration informed the producers of 2 proprietary stevia extracts that the agency would not object to their use of the extracts as safe food ingredients. Stevia has likewise been approved as a food additive in Australia and New Zealand.

As 2009 opens, government agencies are requesting information and guidance on their programs from the public. The Office of Dietary Supplements has requested public comment regarding its 2004-2009 strategic plan, for which it has scheduled 4 free, upcoming webinars. Additionally, The US Fish and Wildlife Service has scheduled a public meeting for February 24 to gather information on the export of American ginseng roots.

We at ABC would like to wish all members a Happy New Year. We look forward to providing you with more herbal news and resources throughout 2009!

Cordially, The Staff of the American Botanical Council

Media Watch

We tested the links of the following articles prior to publication; however, ABC is not responsible for the longevity of the articles’ links.

38% of US Adults Use Alternative TreatmentsUS News and World Report. 12-10-08. A new government survey estimates that 38% of US adults and 12% of US children use some type of complementary and alternative medicine.

Khat—Is it More Coffee or Cocaine? Los Angeles Times. 1-3-09. The plant stimulant khat is increasingly being smuggled into the United States, causing conflicts between narcotics officers and immigrants who defend its use.

MD Anderson’s Cohen Honored for Contributions to Traditional Chinese Medicine. 12-16-08. Lorenzo Cohen, PhD, has received 2 prestigious awards for his work furthering research into the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine for cancer therapies.

Growing Marijuana with Government Money. New York Times. 12-22-08. Professor Mahmoud A. ElSohly discusses the goals and projects of the only federally approved marijuana plantation in the United States.

UK Funds for Homeopathy Dip Even with Royal Support. 12-16-08. Funding by the British government for homeopathic and other alternative treatments has recently declined due to criticism of such funding by UK physicians and scientists.

Government Needs to Set Up Traditional Medicine Council. Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. 12-17-08. Herbal advocates have asked the government of Ghana to set up a council to enhance the regulation, availability, and credibility of local traditional medicine.

Government Denies Ayurvedic Drugs Contain Too Much Heavy Metals. The Times of India. 12-20-08. In response to a US medical journal article, the Indian government has tested exported Ayurvedic drugs and found that they do not contain heavy metals above the permissible limit.

FDA Expands Warning to Consumers about Tainted Weight Loss Pills. FDA News. 1-8-09. The US FDA has identified 69 weight loss pills that contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients and could put consumers’ health at risk.


The following are just a few of the upcoming events that you will find listed on ABC’s Event Calendar.

February 5: International Aloe Science Council Webinar: Allowable Claims & Claims Substantiation. ONLINE.

February 18-21: Gateway to Wellness: The Natural Health Products Research Society’s 6th Annual Research Conference & Tradeshow. Vancouver, Canada.

February 19-21: The Integrative Healthcare Symposium. New York, NY. *ABC members will receive a 15% discount on registration.*


The current HerbClip bin was released on January 6, 2009. The following samples have been made available online to all members:

Positive Association between Elevating Blood Pressure and Improved Cognitive Function after Supplementation with Hawthorn Berry Extract and Camphor

Ginkgo Extract Does Not Prevent Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease in Large 6-year Clinical Trial: The GEM Study

ABC members at the Academic level and higher can access all 15 HerbClips just released by visiting the HerbClip homepage. To gain access to all HerbClips, upgrade your membership

Recent News

FDA Accepts Safety of Two Stevia Preparations for Food and Beverage Use

Australia and New Zealand Approve Stevia as a Food Additive

Revised Solar PanelsTraditional Medicinals Tea Company Becomes 75% Solar Powered                                                                                                            Solar-paneled roof at Traditional Medicinals in California.  Photo © 2008 Alex Macondray

FDA Extends Deadline for Industry to Comply with AER LabelingFitoterapia Vol. 80 No. 1 Requirements For Dietary Supplements

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Bayer after FDA Sends Warning Letters for Combination Dietary Supplement-OTC Drug Products

Giovanni Appendino Joins Fitoterapia Team as New Editor-In-Chief                                                                                                                                  Photo © 2009 Fitoterapia