Leading Supplement Industry Trade Group Joins USP in Calling for Increased Transparency to Address Dietary Supplement Quality


CONTACT: Anne Bell
301-998-6785; adb@usp.org

Back-to-Back Workshops to focus on DNA Barcode Testing and the Illegal Adulteration of Dietary Supplements with Drugs

Rockville, Md., October 27, 2015 — Recent reports have raised questions about the quality and safety of dietary supplements. Although there are quality challenges in the supplement industry, there are also many reputable supplement manufacturers that make high quality products. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for consumers and regulators to distinguish one from the other. To bridge the gap, consumers rely on independent verification programs and seals, and some officials have turned to DNA barcode testing; both have their limits.

Greater transparency is needed to bring clarity to the issues of supplement quality and identification.

USP is pleased to work with the United Natural Product Alliance (UNPA), a leading trade organization, in a collaborative effort to promote transparency, while also providing a forum to address concerns about appropriate test methods and supply chain integrity.

“In addition to the transparency provided by the public process used to develop USP standards, all public standards also provide a uniform reference point for regulators and industry for dietary supplements and ingredients, which is key to promoting supply chain integrity,” explained Christine Feaster, Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Program Operations – Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines at USP.

“The dietary supplements industry is at a critical juncture. It is imperative that industry address concerns about supplement quality to ensure regulator, legislator and public confidence in its products,” said Loren Israelsen, UNPA President. “We need to make it easier for both consumers and regulators to distinguish quality products and that requires greater transparency. The United States Pharmacopeia provides public standards and best practices necessary to address these issues. UNPA is proud to continue its collaboration with USP. In particular, we welcome its expertise in ensuring supplement quality, supply chain integrity and scientifically validated test methods.”

USP and UNPA will address two of the most pressing issues currently facing the supplement industry – DNA barcode testing and the illegal adulteration of dietary supplements with drugs - in back-to-back workshops.

UNPA will host “The UNPA Dietary Supplement Analytical Summit: The Evolution and Implications of Analytical Testing in the Post-New York Attorney General World,” Nov. 5-6, 2015, in Salt Lake City.

The goal of the summit is to provide a deep understanding of current science, legal and regulatory developments raised by DNA barcoding and to help companies adapt and succeed in a changing marketplace.

Nandakumara Sarma, R.Ph., Ph.D., Director, Dietary Supplements, for the United States Pharmacopeia, will present at the UNPA summit in a session titled “USP’s Compendial Standards for Botanical Supplements and the Role of DNA Barcoding Amongst Other Methods.”

On Dec. 3 - 4, USP will host a workshop on “Adulteration and Fraud in Food Ingredients and Dietary Supplements.” Over the course of the 2-day workshop, USP will present several innovative tools and resources specifically designed to help retailers, manufacturers and regulators identify and mitigate the risks associated with economically motivated adulteration and food fraud, including new screening methodologies for detecting PDE5 inhibitors in dietary supplements and a discussion of a new USP Dietary Supplements Adulteration database currently in development. The workshop is organized in cooperation with the American Botanical Council and the Food Protection and Defense Institute.

More information about the UNPA summit and registration information is available here: www.unpa.com/events. Personnel from USP member organizations will receive a 10 percent discount on their registration at the UNPA website using the code USP10.

USP – Global Expertise, Trusted Standards, Improved Health The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a global health organization that improves lives through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. USP’s standards are used worldwide. For more information about USP visit http://www.usp.org

ABOUT UNPA The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) is an international trade association representing many leading natural products, dietary supplement, functional food, scientific and technology and related service companies that share a commitment to provide consumers with natural health products of superior quality, benefit and reliability. Founded in Utah in 1991, UNPA was instrumental in the passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and continues to take a leadership position in legislative and regulatory issues and industry best practices. Visit www.unpa.com.

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