Gaia Herbs (Brevard, NC) was the only natural products industry representative invited to present at a U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) workshop hosted last week at the agency’s national headquarters in Rockville, MD, reported the company.
The event, titled “DNA Methods for Quality Control of Botanical Products,” was co-organized by several other government departments including the USDA, FDA, NIH-ODS, and also AuthenTechnologies, associated with the University of California, Berkeley.
According to Jeremy Stewart, Ph.D., chief scientist and vice president of scientific affairs, Gaia Herbs, said the company’s identity program developed and refined over the past three years was well received by the government and academic representatives at the meeting.
“Our approach, of creating DNA-validated reference standards and using statistics with these standards to determine the identity of incoming raw materials, was novel to this group,”said Stewart, whose presentation was entitled “DNA-Validated Reference Materials and Their Use in a Chemometric-Based Botanical Identity Program.”
According to the company, Gaia Herbs’ commitment to purity, integrity and potency has made them pioneers in science-based standards.
“The technical breakthroughs we’ve achieved have the potential to benefit the entire natural products industry and enable a higher level of safety, responsibility, and transparency for everyone,” said Steward. “Our methods tell consumers exactly what’s contained in the herbal products they purchase. We’re working at the same level of scientific analysis and accuracy as CSI chemical fingerprinting.”
“It’s clear that the USP and FDA have accepted the use of DNA analysis in dietary supplement quality control as evidenced by the fact that next year¹s updated USP compendia will include a DNA chapter,” he added.
Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council ABC, who spoke at the USP event said herbs and other botanical materials are extremely chemically complex, and can present significant challenges to confirm their proper identity and authenticity to quality control experts. “Gaia Herbs is to be commended for its strong commitment to and investment in its leading-edge quality control program which uses some of the most modern analytical and confirmatory techniques currently available,” said Blumenthal.
The American Botanical Council is an independent research and education nonprofit organization.
For more information, visit www.gaiaherbs.com.