AHPA Chief Information Officer Merle Zimmermann, Ph.D., presented yesterday at the 2017 Mary Frances Picciano Dietary Supplement Research Practicum, an event held by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements to provide faculty, students and practitioners with fundamental knowledge of dietary supplements.
Dr. Zimmermann provided an overview of AHPA and some recent initiatives and resources developed to support the herbal supplement industry.
"The regulated supplement industry is proactive in identifying and capitalizing on opportunities to effectively and efficiently meet growing consumer demand for high-quality supplements and complying with all relevant laws and regulations," Dr. Zimmermann said. "AHPA leverages the expertise of its members to create practical guidance and resources that promote the responsible sale of herbal products, including herbal supplements."
Dr. Zimmermann educated faculty, students and practitioners at the practicum about several AHPA resources, including:
- AHPA's Herbs of Commerce -- 3rd edition expected to be completed by 2018
- Guidance documents covering a host of topics, including:
- Good Agricultural and Collection Practice for Herbal Raw Materials
- Wild American Ginseng Good Stewardship Harvesting
- Use of Marker Compounds in Manufacturing and Labeling of Botanically Derived Dietary Supplements
- Dietary Supplement Claims and Claims Substantiation
- Dietary Supplement cGMP Implementation
- Contract Manufacturing
- Microbiology for the Herbal Product and Dietary Supplement Industry
- Labeling of Fungi Products
- Shelf Life Labeling
- Slack Fill Guidance
- Guidance on Heavy Metals
- Residual Solvents in Extracts
- AHPA NDI Database
- Botanical Safety Handbook
- Botanical Identity References Compendium
In addition, Dr. Zimmermann discussed AHPA's recent advocacy efforts to enact laws, regulations and guidance that is practical for consumers and the supplement industry.
The two and a half day practicum covered a number of topics, including:
- Supplement use in the United States and reasons for use;
- The regulatory framework governing supplements;
- Differences in bringing foods, drugs, and supplements to market;
- Supplement quality;
- Assessing the health effects of foods and supplements; and
- Developing policies and advice about supplement use based on science