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New Resource Provides Herb Industry With Sources of Quality Specifications
Date:11/10/2011

in the form of a written specification that the company's quality unit can implement."

Brinckmann's article begins with an introduction of the large number of groups that act as standards-setting organizations for botanical ingredients around the world. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention is considered the standards-setting authority for prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) active ingredients and medications in the United States, as well as for certain food ingredients and dietary supplements. The organization has specific monographs for each category of ingredients. Further, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service has produced optional quality standards for many agricultural products, including some botanicals. Pharmacopeial quality is required if the ingredient is part of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved OTC drug product.

Throughout the extensive and information-dense feature, Brinckmann provides readers with comprehensible tables that outline various quality standards. For example, one table compares food and therapeutic quality standards established for psyllium husk (Plantago psyllium). Another examines international standards of quality for Capsicum peppers (chili peppers). The article concludes with a number of resources for those interested in particular monographs and specifications for dietary supplements, spices, and herbal medicines.

"Manufacturers and marketers of herb-based products are seeking reliable information on how to ensure the safety, benefits, and quality of their products," said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. "That's why we thought it was so important to devote 16 pages in HerbalGram to this subject, and there is no one who is more knowledgeable on this subject than the author of this paper, Josef Brinckmann."

The article contains 10 tables related to quality specifications, authoritative standards-setting or
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SOURCE American Botanical Council
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