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NSF Updates Pesticide Test Requirements for Supplements


NSF International and the NSF/ANSI 173 Joint Committee have updated the pesticide testing requirements included in NSF/ANSI 173, the only American National Standard for dietary supplements. A recent NSF study established chemical-specific pesticide limits for 185 pesticides that might be present in botanical ingredients used in dietary supplement ingredients.

NSF International Logo“The new testing requirements fill an important gap,” said Rebecca Adams, NSF International research toxicologist who led the study. “Pesticides lacking residue limits are currently held to a ‘precautionary zero tolerance,’ which has moved closer and closer to zero over time as analytical testing methodologies have advanced. NSF International’s evidence-driven approach minimizes reliance on zero tolerance while remaining protective of public health and safety.”

NSF International’s new pesticide criteria give supplement manufacturers a scientifically valid way to demonstrate regulatory compliance and their commitment to quality and safety. “What’s important is that these criteria provide a tool for industry to evaluate pesticide residues in botanical ingredients used in dietary supplements,” said Sylvia Laman, managing toxicologist at NSF International. “By using EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and international data we’ve been able to develop scientifically defensible chemical-specific pesticide limits.”

The updates to the testing requirements follow months of comprehensive research by NSF International toxicologists, who used U.S. EPA health effects criteria, as well as criteria from international authorities as the basis to develop scientifically defensible chemical-specific limits for each pesticide, including the fungicides difenoconazole and oxidixyl and the insecticide dieldrin. This update to NSF/ANSI 173 should not be considered a substitute for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pesticide residue requirements, which, while written specifically for food products, remain an FDA compliance requirement for supplement manufacturers.

For more information, visit www.nsf.org.

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