AHPA featured in HerbalGram for 40th anniversary

October 12, 2022

The American Herbal Products Association at 40

AHPA reaches milestone as the leading trade group in US dealing with herbs and medicinal plants

By Karen Raterman | HerbalGram Issue #135 | Fall 2022

The idea of turning 40 may or may not seem momentous in the grand scheme of things. But in trade association years, reaching the 40-year mark is a significant achievement — especially in a modern US industry that is, itself, not much older. This longevity involves trailblazing, education, community building, and, perhaps most importantly, a leap of faith. All these attributes describe the daily workings of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), which was founded in 1982 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022.¹

Although its name indicates it is an “American” association, AHPA is now a global endeavor, with 400 member companies across five continents. The organization has 18 committees that represent key areas of the herbal products industry, from analytical laboratories to sustainability, and it provides important resources like the Botanical Safety Handbook, 2nd ed. (CRC Press, 2013),² and Herbs of Commerce, 2nd ed. (AHPA, 2000).³ AHPA also has been a leader and central player regarding self-regulatory efforts in the industry.4

AHPA President Michael McGuffin, who first served on the AHPA board in 1990 and became president of the association in 1999, said it feels “fabulous” to reach this milestone. He also noted that despite four decades in a quickly evolving industry and many changes in the perception of AHPA's role within the industry, the association is right where it wants to be. “We have moved along and engaged in strategic planning over the years as we envisioned,” he said (oral communication, February 9, 2022). “We still have a vision for the future, but we have arrived at the role and area of service we intended right from the beginning.”

Although the push and pull between industry and regulators will certainly continue, McGuffin added, “AHPA will continue to advocate for broad unfettered access and informed consumer education about dietary supplements and herbs.”





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