Archive February 2024

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AHPA Director of Regulatory Affairs to present at ASTA Annual Meeting

February 29, 2024

To kick off the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) 2024 Annual Meeting & Exhibits, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Director of Regulatory Affairs Robert Marriott is pleased to be speaking at the symposium on “Navigating Lack of Harmonization of Pesticide MRLs for Spices” on Tuesday, April 16.

AHPA engages with ASTA in support of ensuring consumer access to safe, high quality herbal products, including spices.
About the Event
Join ASTA for an unforgettable experience at the 2024 Annual Meeting & Exhibits in Tucson, Arizona, from April 16-18. Experience the perfect blend of education and networking at the premier annual industry event, where you will immerse yourself in important topics—from insightful crop reports to sustainability, food safety, regulatory challenges, and more. Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Tucson’s Southwest setting while creating lasting connections with trade colleagues and friends. Don’t miss out!

Register online and claim your spot by April 11! Learn more about registration options & prepare to dive into hot topics, learn from leading experts, and build your connections within the global spice industry. 

Herbs in History - Oregano & Onion

February 22, 2024

Enjoying these herbal history lessons? Don’t forget to share with your network using the buttons at the top of every entry!

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 launch the Herbs in History project in 2022.

This month we cover the rich histories of oregano and onion. Both are staples in the Mediterranean diet and have been featured in world literature through the centuries. So many species for the former and so many stories for the latter...including an intriguing weather forecast technique! Preview the entries below and visit Herbs in History online to read more.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare L.)

More than Pizza
In present-day culinary and alimentary life, oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) is almost a synonym of pizza or warm focaccias garnished with small leaves of oregano, when it does not evoke Greece, a piece of feta sprinkled with ground oregano leaves and sprayed with olive oil, a few olives and a piece of bread, with a glass of wine. Though suggestive of health benefits, this gustatory and olfactory evocation sharply reduces the merits of oregano, which, in the past, were by no means limited to a pleasant meal. Its history is contradictory, however, with both a clear therapeutic profile early affirmed in history and a subsequent disappearance from the pharmacopoietic arsenal. | Read more...


Onion (Allium cepa L.)

Layers of Stories
Though not a medicinal plant strictly speaking, onion (Allium cepa L.) greatly benefits human health. Current literature concords in crediting it with a many properties: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, anthelmintic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, lithotripic, stomachic, and tonic. It is no surprise that it is abundantly used in alimentation, raw or cooked, boiled or baked, braised or grilled, pickled or caramelized, entire or finely chopped, in salad or soups, in stews and sandwiches, in combination with other vegetables and foodstuffs or by itself. Its history is as varied as its actions, uses and layers, with tears and weather prediction, omnipresence and local productions, facts and beliefs. | 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.

2024 AHPA Board of Trustees Candidates

February 12, 2024
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is pleased to announce the candidates for the 2023 AHPA Board of Trustees election at the upcoming AHPA Annual Member Meeting on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at Expo West.
2024 AHPA Board of Trustees Candidates

  • Nate Brennan (Pacific Botanicals)

  • Staci Eisner (Cortex Scientific Botanicals)

  • Mark Jost (Gemini Pharmaceuticals)

  • Ellen Kamhi (Bio-Botanica)

  • Billie Rezarch (Maty's Healthy Products)

  • Erin Smith (Banyan Botanicals)

  • Greg Sommerville (Frontier Co-op)

  • Kristina Tucker (The Republic of Tea)

  • Adel Villalobos (Lief Labs)

  • Sindy Wise (WishGarden Herbs)

Read Candidate Statements here: 2024 AHPA Board of Trustees - Candidate Statements
AHPA Active Members in good standing are eligible to vote in this election and will receive voting instructions in separate communications.
If you have any questions about the election or need assistance with voting, please contact Daniela Gonzalez at

Hawaii finds kava beverages generally recognized as safe

February 8, 2024

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) has issued a memorandum finding that the traditionally prepared ‘awa (commonly known as kava) beverage, made using the root of the noble variety of the ‘awa plant (Piper methysticum), is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) due to its common use prior to January 1, 1958. In doing so, the DOH has taken the position that a 2020 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) memorandum evaluating kava products “erroneously classified the traditional ‘awa beverage … as unsafe for human consumption.”
To document the history of traditional kava use in Hawaii, the DOH memorandum refers to a 2016 technical report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), which identified its long and documented history of food use throughout the South Pacific. The DOH memorandum also cites literature collected by the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UHCTAHR) documenting the common use and traditional preparation of the beverage specifically in Hawaii prior to 1958.
The Hawaii DOH memorandum is available here. For its attachments, including the FAO/WHO and UHCTAHR documents, contact Robert Marriott, AHPA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, at

AHPA Chief Science Officer participates in USP Expert Committee meetings

The event held at USP headquarters in Rockville, MD was a joint meeting of the Foods, Dietary Supplements, and Herbal Medicines Collaborative Group.

February 7, 2024

USP Botanical Dietary Supplements & Herbal Medicines Expert Committee

Last week, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Chief Science Officer Holly E. Johnson, Ph.D., participated in USP Expert Committee meetings hosted at USP headquarters in Rockville, MD.

The event was a joint meeting of USP’s Foods, Dietary Supplements, and Herbal Medicines Collaborative Group, consisting of four Expert Committees:

USP brings together independent Volunteer Experts from industry, academia, and government to work together on Expert Committees, sharing their diverse knowledge and perspectives. Each Expert Committee focuses on specific areas that span the work of USP in advancing quality standards and improving health outcomes.

Contributing her expertise and ensuring that AHPA members are represented in standards development, Dr. Johnson is a member of several USP expert groups:

  • Botanical Dietary Supplements & Herbal Medicines Expert Committee (BDSHM)

  • Modern Analytical Methods Joint Subcommittee

  • Dietary Supplements Nomenclature Joint Subcommittee

  • Cannabis Expert Panel

“The BDSHM Expert Committee met to discuss a variety of USP standards, including monographs for elderberry, maca, and cordyceps, as well as a General Chapter addressing impurities and contaminants in dietary supplements,” recapped Dr. Johnson. “I thank USP and my colleagues for the opportunity to work together on shaping the development of quality standards for our industry.”

Dr. Johnson was joined at the event by many AHPA members and friends (pictured below) who also serve on USP Expert Committees.

From left: Dr. Holly E. Johnson (AHPA), Dr. Josef Brinckmann (Traditional Medicinals), Dr. Thomas Brendler (Traditional Medicinals), Dr. Steven Dentali (Dentali Botanical Sciences)

From left: Dr. Joe Betz (former Director of NIH Office of Dietary Supplements), Dr. Amy Roe (Procter & Gamble), Dr. Holly E. Johnson (AHPA), Dr. Wilmer Perera (CAMAG Scientific)

From left: Dr. Zhengfei Lu (Herbalife), Dr. Holly E. Johnson (AHPA),
Dr. Nandu Sarma (USP)

From left: Dr. Maria Monages (USP), Dr. Holly E. Johnson (AHPA), Dr. Wei Gao (Nature’s Sunshine Products

IADSA Newsflash for February 2024

February 6, 2024

AHPA is an active member of IADSA, an association focused on the globalization of food supplement markets and regulatory challenges. AHPA distributes the IADSA Newsflash This issue covers:

  • The Philippines has issued guidelines for the classification of vitamins and minerals in supplements.

  • The European Commission (EC) has been tasked by the European Parliament to take action on pending botanical health claims, and must propose legislation or justify continued inaction.

  • The EC has proposed regulations to limit the amount of mineral oil hydrocarbons in supplements and foods.

  • The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released a scientific opinion on a upper limit for the mineral manganese.

  • Belgian authorities have established a nutrivigilance system for the reporting of adverse effects from novel foods, food supplements, and other food types.

  • German authorities have warned against the long-term use of excessive amounts of vitamin D, and has concluded that CoQ10 supplementation is unnecessary.

  • Finnish authorities have implemented a warning label for vitamin B6 supplements that exceed the revised upper tolerable intake level.

  • Denmark has issued updated supplement guidelines.

  • Norway is prioritizing enforcement action for products making illegal claims or that have defective labeling.

  • Romania has approved 19 additional botanicals for use in supplements.

  • FDA has completed a safety review of N-acetyl-L-cysteine and has added it to its peer review agenda.

  • Australian authorities have issued guidance on the distinction between therapeutic goods and sports supplements.

  • Brazil has issued updated rules for novel foods and approved changes to additives allowed in food supplements.




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