AHPA Establishes Trade Requirement on Organic Supplements

Board-adopted trade requirements serve as amendments to the AHPA Code of Ethics, to which conformity is a condition of membership.

Silver Spring, MD—At its most recent meeting, the Board of Trustees of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) considered several topics of interest to AHPA membership, and decided to establish a trade requirement on the marketing of dietary supplements identified as organic, and amended a separate trade requirement on caffeine-containing foods and supplements.

The new trade requirement is as follows:

“Dietary supplements marketed in the United States and sold, labeled, or represented with use of the term ‘organic’ are produced and handled in compliance with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP).”

The Board also authorized further communications with USDA to recommend active enforcement of the NOP regulations for any supplement that identifies either the product or its ingredients as organic.

“AHPA has engaged with USDA since at least 2005 to attempt to correct what we view as a misinterpretation by the agency of the application of the Organic Foods Production Act to dietary supplements,” commented AHPA’s president, Michael McGuffin. “The AHPA board has clearly expressed its support for protecting the ‘organic’ brand for all foods, including dietary supplements, which federal law defines as a subcategory of food for virtually all purposes.”

Board-adopted trade requirements serve as amendments to the AHPA Code of Ethics, to which conformity is a condition of membership. Compliance is expected six months after adoption; therefore, the new policy is effective on April 26, 2022.

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The trade requirement on caffeine-containing foods and supplements was established in 2005 and revised in both 2013 and 2015. It includes guidance on labeling of caffeine-containing products. It also prevents retail sale of pure caffeine, a restriction which has now been revised to also apply to highly concentrated caffeine, whether in powder or liquid form. The revised policy can be found here.

AHPA is directing those looking for more information to Robert Marriott, AHPA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and staff liaison to the AHPA Standards Committee.