Archive January 2023

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The HerbWalk at Expo West is back!

January 31, 2023

HerbWalkAfter a 3-year hiatus, the HerbWalk at Expo West is back! Join us on Wednesday, March 8 at 1-5pm for the welcome return of this special event.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the tradeshow floor in Anaheim for a visit to the nearby Fullerton Arboretum and a guided tour of the beautiful 26-acre botanical garden located on the California State University, Fullerton campus.


Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn about culinary and medicinal herbs and their uses from a faculty of renowned herbalists, featuring the arboretum’s permanent collection of more than 4,000 plant species from around the world.


Bus transportation to/from the Anaheim Convention Center (exact pick-up location TBA) and the Fullerton Arboretum will be provided.


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2023 HerbWalk Guides

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AHPA updates CITES Primer to include new botanical species listings

January 30, 2023

AHPA has released an update to its CITES Primer to include additional botanical species that were added to CITES Appendix II during the 19th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP19), which was conducted in Panama City, Panama in November 2022. These new species have been added to the AHPA CITES Primer table of commonly-traded CITES-listed species known to be used as raw materials and ingredients in dietary supplements, traditional medicines, and homeopathic products.
The revision recognizes the following two additions:

  • All species of Rhodiola spp. have been added to CITES Appendix II. This listing includes CITES annotation #2: “All parts and derivatives except: a) seeds and pollen; and b) finished products packaged and ready for retail trade.” This listing becomes effective on February 23, 2023.

  • All genera of the trees Handroanthus, Roseodendron and Tabebuia were added to CITES Appendix II with annotation #17: “Logs, sawn wood, veneer sheets, plywood and transformed wood.” This listing has a delayed implementation period of 24 months as requested by the State of Bolivia, and will become effective on November 25, 2024.

In addition to the new species listings, the revised AHPA CITES Primer has new information about the recently introduced CITES source code “Y” for specimens produced through “assisted production.” This source code is for plant species that are grown in an environment in which they receive some level of human intervention, and therefore do not meet the definition of either “wild” or “artificially propagated.” The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is implementing changes to its permits and regulations to recognize this new source code.
On January 24, 2023, AHPA conducted a webinar which provided background information on CITES, as well as detailed information about the new additions to the CITES Appendices and the new source code. The webinar, CITES Impact on Your Supply Chain, is now available to access on demand.
The updated CITES Primer is available for AHPA members to download from the Guidance Documents page on the AHPA website at no cost. The CITES Primer is also provided as a handout included with paid on-demand access to the webinar for both members and non-members.

AHPA’s Chief Science Officer to present at Reimagining Botanicals: Mastering the Marketing (Feb 8-9)

January 27, 2023

AHPA is pleased support Reimagining Botanicals: Mastering the Market, a two-day virtual conference coming up on February 8-9, 2023, featuring presentations by Holly E. Johnson, Ph.D., AHPA’s Chief Science Officer. AHPA members with interest are encouraged to attend this valuable educational event.

Botanicals have been used for health and healing for literally thousands of years through traditions such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The science of ethnobotany studies the relationship between humans and plants, and continues to confirm the value of nature’s medicinal plants. Of note, it is estimated that more than 35 percent of medicines have their origins in natural products (2019).
Herbs and botanicals often find their way into households as spices and seasonings, and many are strongly physiologically active. These plants offer that holy grail in the ingredient space of being “experiential”- and consumers want those benefits to enhance their wellbeing.
This 2-day virtual conference will examine the “roots” of botanical consumption, explore both ethnobotany and pharmacognosy, and put forward new ways of looking at botanicals in supplements and foods with a goal of mastering this reimagined market.


How new cosmetic laws will affect herbal products

American Herbal Products Association President Michael McGuffin writes about big changes coming to the federal regulation of cosmetics. | Natural Products Insider

Michael McGuffin | Jan. 25, 2023
The new year is here and, as we settle into 2023, big changes to the federal regulation of cosmetics are on the way.
In the last days of 2022, President Biden signed the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill—formally known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023—into law. The legislation, which will fund the federal government through September 2023, contains numerous provisions related to FDA, including the Food and Drug Omnibus Reform Act of 2022 (FDORA).
FDORA expands FDA authority to regulate drugs, medical devices and cosmetics—among other product categories—by making significant amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). For cosmetics specifically, FDORA contains the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA). This landmark legislation significantly overhauls the regulatory framework for cosmetic products.
A new framework for cosmetic regulations
MoCRA establishes federal standards for cosmetics with respect to facility registration, safety substantiation, good manufacturing practices, adverse event reporting, and more. Though such requirements are not new to dietary supplements and other FDA-regulated product categories, cosmetics will soon be subject to regulatory oversight by FDA unlike ever before.
New and expanded regulatory requirements for cosmetics include, but are not limited to:
Facility registration: All existing cosmetic product facilities (i.e., establishments that manufacture or process cosmetic products distributed in the U.S.) generally must be registered with FDA by Dec. 29, 2023—that is, within one year of enactment of MoCRA. New facilities must register within 60 days of first engaging in manufacturing or processing cosmetic products for distribution or 60 days after the deadline for existing facilities, whichever is later. Facility registrations must be renewed biennially, and updates to registration information are required within 60 days of the relevant changes. FDA will assign a registration number to each registered facility. Prior to MoCRA, registering establishments that manufacture or package cosmetic products with FDA was voluntary, though registration has been required for food facilities, including dietary supplements, since 2003.
Product listing: For each cosmetic product, a responsible person—defined as “the manufacturer, packer or distributor of a cosmetic product whose name appears on the label of such cosmetic product”—generally must submit a listing that includes, among other things, the product’s ingredients and where it was manufactured or processed. The responsible person must submit the listing by Dec. 29, 2023—within one year of enactment of MoCRA—for existing cosmetic products and within 120 days of entering interstate commerce for new cosmetic products. FDA will assign a product listing number to each listed cosmetic product. MoCRA does not include any requirement that FDA affirmatively make these product listings publicly available. Prior to MoCRA, there was no listing requirement for cosmetic products; however, establishments could voluntarily file ingredient composition statements with FDA.
Safety substantiation: A responsible person generally must ensure and maintain documentation that supports the adequate substantiation of safety for each cosmetic product. Failure to comply could render a cosmetic product adulterated and subject to FDA enforcement action. Prior to MoCRA, no such safety substantiation requirements existed for cosmetics.
Good manufacturing practices (GMPs): FDA must develop regulations establishing GMPs for cosmetic facilities to protect the public health and ensure cosmetic products are not adulterated. The agency must publish a proposed rule within two years of enactment of MoCRA and issue a final rule within three years of enactment. Failure to comply with GMP requirements could render a cosmetic product adulterated and subject to FDA enforcement action. Prior to MoCRA, there were no GMP requirements for cosmetics, though GMPs have been long established for drugs, foods and dietary supplements.
Adverse event reporting: Each cosmetic product must include contact information on the label through which a responsible person can receive adverse event reports. A responsible person must submit to FDA reports of all serious adverse events—for instance, those that result in death, a life-threatening experience or serious disfigurement—associated with the use (in the U.S.) of a cosmetic product manufactured, packed or distributed by the person within 15 business days of the report. The responsible person must maintain records of adverse events for six years (or three years for small businesses that do not engage in manufacturing or processing). In addition, within 15 business days of receipt, a responsible person must update reports with “new and material medical information” received about a previous report within one year of the initial report to FDA. If the agency believes ingredients in a fragrance or flavor caused the serious adverse event, a responsible person must provide a complete list of ingredients in the specific fragrances or flavors to FDA within 30 days of a request. Prior to MoCRA, there were no adverse event reporting obligations for cosmetics, though such requirements have been established for all drugs and dietary supplements but not for conventional foods.
Labeling: In addition to the contact information described above, cosmetic product labels must identify each fragrance allergen in the cosmetic product as determined by FDA in a forthcoming regulation. The agency must publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for these fragrance allergens within 18 months of enactment of MoCRA, and a final rule must be issued within 180 days of the close of the comment period of the NPRM. In addition, cosmetic products intended only for professional use (i.e., by individuals licensed by a state authority to practice in cosmetology, nail care, barbering or esthetics) must be indicated as such clearly and prominently on the label. Prior to MoCRA, cosmetic labels were subject to prohibitions against false and misleading labeling and other, more general labeling requirements.
Mandatory recall authority: Under MoCRA, FDA now has the authority to initiate a mandatory recall of a cosmetic product—after providing the responsible person with the opportunity to implement a voluntary recall—if it determines there is a reasonable probability that the product is adulterated or misbranded and will cause serious adverse health consequences or death. Prior to MoCRA, the agency did not have mandatory recall authority for cosmetics. Congress has provided FDA with such authority for conventional foods and dietary supplements but not for drugs.
The road ahead
For companies manufacturing and marketing cosmetic products in the U.S., the time to prepare to meet these new requirements is now. Cosmetic companies that have well-established, well-documented procedures for responsible facility operations, manufacturing and product safety are in a good position to comply with the new requirements, most of which will take effect on Dec. 29, 2023.
Even so, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) does have some concern about the potential impact of these requirements on cosmetic products containing herbal ingredients, especially those produced by smaller companies. For instance, the safety substantiation requirement may prove particularly burdensome.
The “adequate substantiation of safety” that will be required of both ingredients and finished cosmetic products before coming to market must come in the form of “tests or studies, research, analyses, or other evidence or information…sufficient to support a reasonable certainty that a cosmetic product is safe,” meaning a cosmetic product or ingredient “is not injurious to users under the conditions of use prescribed in the labeling thereof, or under such conditions of use as are customary or usual.”
This requirement effectively calls for cosmetic manufacturers to prove a negative—that is, provide sufficient support that each finished cosmetic product and ingredient does not cause harm and is, therefore, safe for use by consumers. Such safety testing and research may drive smaller companies with more limited resources out of the cosmetic sector or out of business altogether. Another potential challenge is FDA is not required to issue any regulations related to the safety requirement before it goes into effect at the end of 2023.
No stranger to similar regulatory requirements that already govern dietary supplements, AHPA is actively evaluating these new cosmetics requirements and their potential impact on cosmetic products containing herbal ingredients to develop resources that will assist companies in this space with compliance. As with all regulatory matters impacting our members and the wider community, we are here to provide support and guidance to ensure safe, high-quality herbal and natural products—including cosmetics—remain accessible to consumers.

AHPA seeks removal of Chinese herb tariffs in US Trade Representative review

January 24, 2023

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) seeking the removal of punitive tariffs on a range of Chinese imported products relevant to the herbal products and dietary supplements industries. The tariffs, part of a series of trade actions implemented during the previous administration, have had significant adverse impacts on the supply chains for herbal ingredients and product packaging. AHPA had submitted comments requesting the removal of tariffs affecting the herbal products industry at the time of the tariff listings, and has sought similar relief in subsequent communication with the USTR.
AHPA’s comments were submitted to the docket for a USTR statutory review of the necessity and impact of the tariffs, a procedure required four years after their introduction. Along with communicating the harmful effects of the tariffs, AHPA’s comments emphasized that the tariffs do not accomplish their stated purpose of addressing Chinese technology transfer and intellectual property practices. AHPA also stated that it was infeasible to develop alternate sources for many herbal commodities traditionally sourced from China.
AHPA’s comments on the statutory review are available here.

AHPA Workshop: Botanical, Macroscopic & Organoleptic Assessment of Herbal Ingredients for cGMP Compliance

January 23, 2023

Registration is now open for AHPA’s “Botanical, Macroscopic & Organoleptic Assessment of Herbal Ingredients for cGMP Compliance” workshop on March 27-28, 2023. This two-day, virtual workshop provides detailed instruction from herbal and scientific experts in the natural product and dietary supplement industries. Attendees will learn important methods and techniques to help improve assessment of herbal ingredients at their own organizations. This popular workshop has sold out in past sessions – register now to secure your space!

Workshop Sponsor:
Mountain Rose Herbs

Event Details:

  • Dates: March 27-28, 2023

  • Time: 8:30am-2:30pm PT / 11:30-5:30pm ET (Daily)

  • Location: VIRTUAL



  • AHPA Members: $900

  • Non-Members: $1,450

Group Registration: Contact Anissa Medina, Education & Events Manager, at for more information about our group discount on workshop registration for two or more attendees from your organization.

Workshop Description:
This workshop will provide a detailed orientation of botanical, macroscopic, and organoleptic identification methods, quality assessment techniques and terminology, and demonstrate how these techniques are used to evaluate crude plant parts in a scientifically valid manner.
Botanical Identification: Despite advancements in chemistry and genetics, classical botany remains the foundation by which all plants are identified and therefore is the gold standard of proper plant identification.
Macroscopic Identification: Each plant part possesses a relatively unique suite of characters that allow for an identification, purity, and quality assessment to be made rapidly and is easily documented.
Organoleptic Assessment: The sensory characteristics of a plant reflect its mechanical and chemical properties, which are most often directly correlated with the plants desired health benefits. Sensory assessment of plant material has been the primary analytical technique used by herbalists historically, is under-emphasized as to its importance, can help in the quality assessment of raw botanicals and herbal extracts, and is seldom taught and applied in the botanical products industry.
Current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) require QC/QA personnel to be adequately trained in dietary ingredient testing. This workshop will provide the foundation of botanical ingredient assessment in a manner that supports all other analytical methodologies that are subsequently performed. Each participant shall receive a Certificate of Completion to provide documentation that QC personnel have received training in these important techniques that then in part satisfies your GMP documentation for personnel training.
This two-day, hands-on virtual workshop will cover:

  • Botanical identity cGMP compliance requirements

  • Strengths and weaknesses of various analytical technologies (botanical, morphological, microscopic, chemical, DNA)

  • Botanical terminology and botanical identification of plant materials

  • Language of botanical pharmacognosy and organoleptics

  • Terminology and assessment techniques for roots, leaves, stems, barks, flowers, fruits, seeds

  • Developing and documenting macroscopic and organoleptic assessments in a scientifically valid manner

  • Common and uncommon botanical adulterants: how to detect and how to avoid them

  • Sourcing of botanical reference materials and developing internal standards

  • ?Authoritative reference guides and sources for gaining botanical identification skills

The discussions will be accompanied by virtual instruction on:

  • Preparing botanical vouchers

  • Examining various plant parts provided during the instruction

Who should attend?
QC/QA personnel, laboratory personnel, regulatory compliance personnel, natural products researchers, supplement companies looking for economical means to comply with cGMP identification requirements, and anyone with an interest in utilizing botanical, macroscopic and organoleptic techniques to identify botanicals.

AHPA Webinar: Setting Specifications on Strength & Composition

January 18, 2023

The industry has seen an increase in FDA scrutiny, causing confusion about the FDA’s guidance on the strengths and composition of finished dietary supplement products and ingredients. Though there has been no change in regulation, FDA has expressed “concern” that botanical ingredients are not uniformly distributed throughout product batches and wants to see that testing, dictated on the product specification, is conducted to ensure this uniformity. This is a long-standing issue for all companies, big and small. Get a diverse perspective from industry experts and learn how to navigate this conversation with FDA.

Join us for this webinar on February 21, 2023 to learn more about the FDA’s guidance on the strengths and composition of finished dietary supplement products and ingredients, including:

  • What compliance means under 21 CFR 111.70 and 21 CFR 111.75

  • Acceptable documentation to show FDA that specifications on strength & composition are met

  • What to do if you disagree with an investigator

  • AHPA’s resources to help protect your business from this issue


Registration Cost:

  • AHPA Members: $199

  • Non-Members: $399

In Memoriam: Robert “Bob” Beyfuss (March 15, 1950-January 12, 2023)

Influential American ginseng forest farming pioneer and educator

January 17, 2023
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has lost one of its greatest admirers and champions. Bob Beyfuss’s ginseng journey began at Cornell University where he earned his master’s degree studying ginseng. Although Bob never produced a single scientific paper, nor was ever lauded for a single scientific discovery, he was an immensely knowledgeable and thoughtful man and his contributions to ginseng stewardship and forest farming are legendary. Through writing, public speaking, YouTube videos, conferences, social media posts, and workshops, Bob’s influence and impact on the ginseng industry are immeasurable and far reaching. Bob’s own ginseng planting activities in his home state of New York, and his other cooperative extension activities outside the world of ginseng have been so extensive that he was declared a “State Treasure of New York” in 2021. A quick internet search of his name provides endless examples of his topical breadth and audience reach.
As an extension agent and ginseng specialist with Cornell University until his retirement in 2009, he was a tireless advocate for ginseng stewardship, and for forest farming as a conservation solution and economic opportunity. It is impossible to know how many people he influenced over his many decades of extension activities, but it was easily in the tens of thousands. With his trademark ginseng arm tattoo (an endless source of amusement for many), he was a quintessential New Yorker and a legendary character. Outspoken, outgoing, opiniated, thoughtful, inspirational, multifaceted, sage, party-animal, and listener; are but a few adjectives that describe Bob. He was also an avid outdoorsman and equally loved the time he spent Turkey hunting, fishing, foraging, and gardening in New York, as well as the time he spent fishing, playing softball and exploring Florida later in life where he spent his winters near his children and grandchildren.
I first met Bob in September 2000 when I was invited to attend a ginseng forest farming conference that he had organized in his beloved Greene County in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where he served as Cornell cooperative extension agent for 31 years. As I arrived exhausted at the end of a long day, and after six-hours of driving, I was directed to a cabin through the dark and told to “check in with Bob.” When I finally found the cabin, to my surprise, I found Bob actively hosting a “night before the conference” party in his cabin with Bob being the center of the party and the main source of both laughter and deep conversation. I had expected to find some half-asleep, anxiety-ridden extension agent but instead I found a vivacious and beloved white-haired man with a classic Burt Reynolds moustache, surrounded by his many friends and colleagues. And so began my two-decade long plus friendship with Bob.
I have since attended many ginseng-related events and conferences either organized by Bob, or where Bob was an invited speaker, far too many to count. We also went on many adventures together visiting ginseng growers, buyers, and contacts in Ontario, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee and just about everywhere in between. He loved a good road trip (he refused to fly anywhere) and even more so if a new ginseng experience lay at the end of the road. Our last trip was this past August, when we met in Ohio and traveled to Wisconsin to visit with ginseng industry insiders and growers. Along the way, he insisted we stop at “my friend Pete’s who owns a bar” outside Chicago for the night. Not sure what I was getting into, and with some students in tow, I was a little apprehensive but as it always turned out with Bob we were welcomed like long-time friends and treated to deep dish pizza and whatever we wanted to drink from the bar. “How do you know this guy, Bob?” I asked. “He is an old friend from Florida” (where Bob had a timeshare) he replied. And so it went with Bob, he had many circles of friends, from all walks of life. A road trip with Bob Beyfuss, inevitably became a journey of discovery into all these people that came to exist in Bob’s orbit. Bob loved meeting and working with people from all walks of life and he, in turn, was loved by many.
Bob was a valued mentor and friend to many both inside and outside of academia. When ginseng questions came up, it was almost default to hear: “have you asked Bob what he thinks?” or simply “Ask Bob.” His counsel was regarded as essential when it came to ginseng, and his “jabs” at government regulation, especially later in life, while not always welcome were always well-intentioned and meant to help both the plant and people.
Even after his retirement, Bob continued to be a fixture on the “ginseng scene” and just this past November was an invited speaker at an educational event hosted by Middle Tennessee State University ( It is hard to imagine Bob no longer being with us at ginseng events. His presence was always a given. When he was not speaking, he was to be found in the audience…listening and learning. He was a lifelong student. He once told me that as an extension agent he had to be. He clients were always asking him questions, and he needed to try to give them the best advice he could. And so, he studied, and observed, and learned and shared his knowledge with others. When I visited him in Florida during his annual winter migrations south, he would set aside time during my visits to work on “his newspaper column” or “record his Mountain Gardner radio piece” for his audience “back home” that faithfully tuned in each week to read/hear what Doctor Bob had to share.  
We say goodbye to an icon of the ginseng world knowing that his legacy will live on through his writings, the educational projects he was part of, and the memories we hold dear from time spent with a remarkable man. And if you find yourself in New York state, especially in the Catskills, there’s a very good chance that any ginseng plant you encounter in the wild has something to do with Bob. His influence on ginseng will be felt both directly and indirectly for a long time to come. Good-bye, my friend.

Eric Burkhart, Associate Teaching Professor and Appalachian Botany and Ethnobotany Program Director, Penn State University

Included below are some statements provided by a few of Bob's many ginseng-related friends and colleagues upon learning of his passing: 

"My friend and colleague, Bob Beyfuss, was a tireless advocate for American ginseng, but even more so for those rural residents of Appalachia and New England who stood to benefit economically from positive interactions with this iconic American medicinal plant. His voice will be greatly missed from the larger ginseng community."

James McGraw, Eberly Professor of Biology at West Virginia University (retired)

"I got into the ‘world of ginseng’ just ten years ago, but during my deep dive to learn as much as I could about it, I kept hearing Bob Beyfuss’s name come up in articles and conversations with others in the ginseng community. I finally got to meet him in person and hear him present in Asheville in 2015 at the International American Ginseng Expo and then several times over the following years at other conferences and meetings. His slides on ‘chipmunk control methods’ always elicited concurrent gasps and chuckles during his presentations, showing the diverse perspectives of his audiences from every facet of the forest farming community whose lives and careers he had an impact on. He and I had great conversations commiserating the love-hate relationship we had with our mother-ship universities as fellow Extension agents, and he always responded to my questions through calls and emails. I’ve used his YouTube videos as crutches at many workshops with others who were interested in learning about the industry and the plant that Bob so deeply cared about."

Jim Hamilton, County Extension Director, North Carolina State University, North Carolina

"Expert, educator, mentor, icon, friend, and simply unparalleled, Bob will be dearly missed by those who dedicate their lives to advancing the field of forest farming he so loved. I and all I know deeply relished the joy, wonder, and kindness he brought to people, plants, woodlands, and our community. Bob is in the pantheon and will be celebrated for years to come."

John Munsell, Professor of Forestry at Virginia Tech, Virginia


"I first met Bob in 2012 when studying ginseng as a grad student. He had recently retired from his post at Cornell but continued to be a huge presence in the ginseng community. He was a committed advocate for the plant, and the people and communities who depend on it. Whether in the conference room or on a pontoon boat with a fishing rod in hand, Bob was always willing to share his knowledge and insights. He was a mentor and a friend and will be missed greatly."

Holly Chittum, Project Scientist, American Herbal Products Association


"Bob was a mentor and inspiration to me to get involved in forest farming. He will start another patch in heaven for us to join him."

Ming Tao Jiang, Marathon Ginseng International Inc., Wisconsin


"Bob was one of my mentors when I started my ginseng extension program in North Carolina over 30 years ago. The most useful advice he gave me was that to earn the respect of Appalachian ginseng growers and harvesters you had to learn and appreciate the place ginseng held in the history and culture of the mountain people. That advice has served me well. Thank you, Bob. The many people you trained and educated are a big part of your legacy"

Jeanine Davis, NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, North Carolina

"As we sit here today after hearing of Bob's passing, we are reminiscing about the good times and stories we shared, the fellowship, advice, foresight, and the solutions, because we do believe he knew it all. Time spent with Bob is valued more than anything and we cherish those moments with him. He could teach and make you want to learn. We are honored to have known him. Thank you, Bob, for everything!"

Ed & Carole Daniels, Shady Grove Botanicals, West Virginia

"I had the good fortune to know Bob for more than 15 years, as a colleague, a friend, and always a mentor. I was always humbled by Bob's willingness take my questions, vet my theories or assumptions, and provide thoughtful and constructive feedback. Time spent with Bob was always a learning experience, and his wealth of knowledge was always freely shared. I owe him a debt of gratitude, and he will be sincerely missed."

Tanner Filyaw, United Plant Savers, Ohio

"I first met Bob in the Fruit and Spice Park in sunny Miami in Spring 2020. The sight of a vivid ginseng tattoo on his arm surprised me and made me giggled – a great ice breaker. I was eager to learn all things about American ginseng, from history, cultivation to trade and Bob had been incredibly generous to share what he knew. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit ginseng farms with him a few times, including one in summer 2020 to upstate New York where he miraculously arranged a camping site for us to stay when Floridians were not welcome by the state. He was a teacher and a friend and will be missed greatly."

Hong Liu, Professor of Plant Conservation at Florida International University, Florida

"I met Bob over 35 years ago at a ginseng conference, not long after he’d written his Master’s Thesis on the plant. Bob and I became good friends and eventually fishing buddies. In time, I saw his interest in ginseng gradually become a fascination with its mystique and then the intellectual passion of his life. The plant’s atypical botany, the difficulty of its woodland horticulture, and the culture surrounding its trade continually held his interest. He became a pervasive and effective advocate for the plant and especially for the individuals working to grow it in the woods. 35 years ago, ginseng had financial worth but had the general status of snake oil. Today, the plant’s commercial worth is increasingly seen as legitimate, its long history and culture in America is being recognized, and it’s appreciated simply for its inherent value. This change has come about in no small part through Bob’s efforts and those of the multitude of folks he aided, enlightened, educated, and mentored. Bob made friends easily and kept many of them. His energetic, genuine friendship enriched many lives, certainly mine included."

W. Scott Persons, Tuckasegee Valley Ginseng, North Carolina

"Bob was mythical. I first learned about Bob through Andy Hankins; the Virginia extension agent that helped me start my ginseng farm in 1999. Bob became my friend when I took on the role as Director of United Plant Savers. Bob was a ladies’ man, and he took me under his wing knowing ginseng is a very male dominated scene. I am so grateful for our heated discussions, his epic stories, friendly embrace, and inquisitive nature. Bob’s heart was deeply rooted in the conservation of the forest, and his dedication to plant savers will be terribly missed but not forgotten."

Susan Leopold, Executive Director, United Plant Savers, Ohio 

"Bob was special. I have now lost two great friends from the ginseng/herb industry, Tony [Hayes] and now Bob. I will miss them both. They and their families taught Michele and I many things and showed us beautiful areas of your country. I’m not sure how to replace the sights we saw and characters we met."

John Kershaw, ginseng farmer, Ontario, Canada 

"So much can be said about Bob. Many know him as the ginseng expert. Undoubtedly, I learned an immense amount from Bob about ginseng and the woods for which I will always be grateful. He was also funny, kind, and a very generous sharer. An intellectual and curious academic, yes, but Bob believed in the mystical, in magic too. At one of our last dinners (he was a terrific cook!) I told him what a big influence he’d been on me and others that worked for the ginseng company. More than anything, it was Bob’s belief in people that had moved me, stayed with me, and changed me. He didn’t know what would happen to the company, whether we’d get the yields necessary to sustain investor interest. But Bob understood the consequences of the work. That, in fact, it was the workers and the people who were spending all that time in the woods, with ginseng, plants and mushrooms- trying things, that would without doubt live on to have an impact in this world. The forest would enchant us and eventually we would in turn be enchanters of the forest. At first perhaps I admired his perspective more than I believed it, but with time, I only increasingly appreciated how true it was. It was a wisdom. And a permission he afforded me and others to see ourselves, our work, business; differently… and with heart. I will miss my friend a lot for a long time. But I am heartened knowing that his work and spirit will live on in me and so many others whose lives he touched. Thank you, Bob."

Jamie Gillespie, ginseng forest farmer and former employee, New York

"I remember very well the first time I met Bob ‘ginseng’ Beyfuss. It was at an Agroforestry Conference focusing on ‘farming the forest for specialty products’ in the late 90’s. I was there with Tony Hayes and focusing on wild ginseng, while Bob was already deep into farming ginseng in the wild. The afterhours get together’s were what I remember most when Bob and Tony were the center of the conversation about American ginseng. Ever since that first meeting, I’ve enjoyed speaking, talking, sharing, and just spending time with Bob at many different events. Just last year we were at UPS where Bob was the Keynote speaker for the Forest Farming Conference. Sitting with him at lunch he hardly had time to eat with people asking him questions and his always insightful and complete responses including side stories and his chuckles. In October we meet again at the International Ginseng Institute at MTSU and shared the stage during the workshop. The night before we had dinner together and then just hung out in his motel room talking for hours about our past and future adventures, we both have planned. I cherish these times with Bob even more now that he is no longer with us. Bob was always willing to spend his time sharing his knowledge about ginseng and the stories that encompassed his life and those of us who were fortunate enough to be around him have been blessed in many ways. I am grateful and thankful that my life-path crossed with Bob many times and I am sure I will never utter the word ‘ginseng’ or see a ginseng plant or root without pausing to think of Bob ‘ginseng’ Beyfuss."

Edward Fletcher, Native Botanicals, Inc., North Carolina and AHPA Board of Trustees member

"I met Bob a few years ago at a ginseng meeting that he gave a presentation and spoke at. I approached him afterwards for some advice on a project that I was working on. We immediately "hit it off" and became friends then. I am sure that's how others became good friends and colleagues also. Not only is he a legend in the industry but he's a legend in life also!"

Michael Boring, Boring Ginseng, Roots and Herbs, Tennessee

"Bob's love for ginseng has been second nature since we first met over 40 years ago and dug into it in my ginseng garden in Wausau, Wisconsin. His tireless and countless contributions to the industry since then show us the path that we have trod and the conservation we must continue to do in his memory to preserve this wonderful plant for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. You have been truly a great friend. I miss you and will miss going fishing with you next week and every winter until we meet again on a path in the woods."

Paul C. Hsu, Hsu’s Ginseng Enterprises, Inc., Wisconsin

"Bob Beyfuss has played so many roles in my life: teacher, boss, friend, mentor, wedding officiant, drinking buddy, confidante, and most recently, “GrandBob” to my new baby. We first met in the woods at Cornell University. Bob was checking on his ginseng plantings, and I happened to be nearby soaking mushroom bolts for a forest farming research project. When I told him that I wanted to learn more about growing ginseng, he invited me to come plant with him for his newest project -- a wild-simulated ginseng farm in and around my home county. Little did I know of the plans that he had in store! Over the next ten years, we would plant hundreds of acres of ginseng. Bob was the best mentor I could have ever asked for. Not only did he help me work through every single obstacle that I encountered while managing the farm, but he took me to countless conferences and introduced me to so many others passionate about this plant, encouraging me to learn, share, and to speak about all that we had learned together. Now, I am faced with the most challenging task he’s ever given me: continuing on without him. Yet I know that he has prepared me to carry on his legacy as ginseng’s advocate, just as he has for so many others throughout his long career. And every time we plant ginseng seeds, teach others to grow this magical plant, or carefully harvest a mature root, Bob will live on through us. Let’s make him proud."

Anna Plattner, Ginseng Grower and Educator, Wild Hudson Valley, New York

A profile of Bob Beyfuss is currently being finalized and added to the American ginseng: Local Knowledge, Global Roots website produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage:
Here is a small sample of educational videos featuring Bob Beyfuss:


From all of us AHPA and on behalf of the herbal community:
Thank you, Bob.

Herbs in History: Flax & Ginger

January 17, 2023

In an effort to preserve and share the fascinating histories of medicinal plants and herbs that have been used around the world for ages, the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals (AHPA-ERB Foundation) is honored to partner with Alain Touwaide, Ph.D., and Emanuela Appetiti of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions to tell the stories of Herbs in History.

We kick off 2023 with entries on flax and ginger. Preview the entries below and visit Herbs in History online to read more.

Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.)

The Making of a Superfood

Flax seed is now in high demand as a superfood. As per a definition, foods in this new category “are traditional and minimally processed functional foods with their distinct property as being “traditionally used.” Superfoods have the common feature of being part of restricted culinary and medicinal use, often in distant regions. Therefore, they are in the spotlight not only with their extreme and naturally functional health benefits …, but also with their common features of being part of a remote, authentic, or exotic community ... It has also been proposed that superfoods should be classified, not as foods or medicinal plants only, but as both, on the grounds that they provide “an abundance of synergistic elements.” | Read more...

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

From the Land of Spices

Probably native to Malaysia and Indonesia and now encountered from the southern islands of Japan to New Guinea, the genus Zingiber (Ginger) in the family of the Zingiberaceae is made up of ca. 60 species. One of them, Z. officinale Roscoe, made its way slowly into the therapeutic arsenal of the Mediterranean World despite a promising start. . | Read more...


About the Project

Herbs in History is made possible by funding from the AHPA-ERB Foundation, as part of the nonprofit foundation’s mission promote education and research on medicinal, therapeutic, and health-promoting herbs. Tune in monthly for thoughtfully detailed historical accounts of herbs you know and love, and learn more about the origins of medicinal plants that have stood the test of time.

IADSA Sustainability Survey launched

Editor’s Note

AHPA members are encouraged to complete a sustainability survey recently launched by the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA). The more companies that complete the survey, the more accurate and useful the results will be. Information about the survey and a link to participate is included in the abridged IADSA announcement below. As a member of IADSA, AHPA distributes relevant news on behalf of the organization to AHPA members.

We are pleased to inform you that we have now launched the IADSA global survey on environmental sustainability which is available at this link:

Following the publication of the IADSA Guiding Principles on Sustainability, there was a reflection on how best to support the industry, given the increasing development of regulatory and policy measures on sustainability.

The survey has therefore been launched to:

  • Better understand where the sector stands.
  • Determine the needs of the supplement sector.
  • Identify areas where flexibility for our sector may be required.

The key findings of the survey will be addressed during the IADSA Annual Week in Copenhagen in June.

How long will it take to complete the survey?

It should take 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey is open until the end of February. In addition to English, translation has been provided in Korean, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish thanks to the help of our members.

Who has developed the survey?

The survey has been built with the global consumer research company IPSOS, based on input from the IADSA Task Force.

Who should complete the survey?

All companies involved in the sector can participate, including producers of finished products and ingredients, contract manufacturers, distributors, retailers, suppliers of services etc.


All the information provided by respondents will be treated by IPSOS in the strictest confidence and used for research purposes only. It will not be possible for IADSA and our members to identify any particular individuals or companies in the results.

Many thanks in advance for your help. If you have any questions, please email us at




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