The program is a collaboration of the American Botanical Council, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi.
The program is supported by over 130 companies, independent laboratories, schools and institutes of natural medicine, media, law firms, and trade associations, including this publication.
NIMH was founded in 1864 and is “the UK’s leading professional body representing herbal practitioners”. In a letter of support dated December 15, 2014, NIMH President Laura Stannard wrote: “The NIMH is happy to support the Botanical Adulterants Program. In lending our name to the program we hope that other professional associations will follow our lead. The adulteration of medicinal plants is an issue of grave concern for all herbalists and everyone involved in herbal medicine worldwide.”
BHMA was founded in 1964, and works to promote the advancement of “the science and practice of herbal medicine in the United Kingdom. It promotes the use of herbal medicinal products manufactured to pharmaceutical standards to ensure consistently high quality and effectiveness for the consumer.”
In a January 7, 2015 to ABC’s Mark Blumenthal, BHMA Chairman Dick Middleton, PhD, commented: “The BHMA is delighted to endorse and support the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program. The principle objectives of the Program are pivotal to the ongoing development of high-quality herbal health products in the US and related markets, including the United Kingdom.
“The core thrust of the program involving education and training will also lead to the increasing global availability of high-quality herbal materials to herbal product manufacturers. This will help to create more robust, high-quality supply chains.”
Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) and general manager of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, said: “We are most grateful and encouraged by the strong show of support for our Program that we have received from our herb colleagues in the United Kingdom.
“There is a long and robust history of the rational and responsible use of herbs as a form of selfcare and healthcare in the UK, going back centuries. Support for our educational efforts about how to detect adulteration and fraud in the herbal market will not only help enhance the quality of herb products in the UK, but will provide greatly welcome added impetus and cooperation to the international educational efforts of our Program,” added Blumenthal.
‘Strengthening access to high-quality herbal medicines globally’
“As people continue to use herbal medicines, the role of qualified practitioners in supporting them in making informed decisions is essential,” said Michael Smith, ND, member of the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional Medicines and the ABC Advisory Board.
“This has never been more important than now with the ongoing challenge of adulterations of ingredients used in the products. The endorsement of this program by organizations with the expertise and reputation of the NIMH and BHMA will only strengthen access to high-quality herbal medicines globally.”