Industry Working To Quell Fears About BSE in SupplementsIndustry Working To Quell Fears About BSE in Supplements
April 1, 2001
Industry Working To Quell Fears About BSE in Supplements
WASHINGTON--Amid ongoing fears of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S. food supply, the main trade associations in the dietary supplement industry are working together to assure consumers that dietary supplements are safe from the disease. A backgrounder issued March 1 said that the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) and Utah Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) were working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the issue.The issuance followed a story published by USA Today on Feb. 27 titled "Diet industry fights the threat of mad cow risk" and was out immediately prior to the release of a March 12 cover story for the weekly magazine Newsweek, which concluded on the note that there exists a potential for BSE contamination (and its resulting "mad cow" disease) in dietary supplements that contain raw cow materials, better known as glandulars.The industry backgrounder reviewed the last decade of government measures taken to keep the United States BSE-free, including imposing restrictions on importation of live ruminants and bovine materials, issuing a guidance on appropriate source materials for gelatin products, and sending letters to manufacturers about actions to be taken in sourcing bovine materials. Several materials used in the dietary supplement industry were addressed in this backgrounder, including glandular materials, gelatin and chondroitin. Among the issues addressed with glandulars were that such ingredients used in dietary supplements are significantly processed, that the ingredients are often supplied by companies that only purchase from USDA-inspected facilities, and that other imports must have verification of country of origin and appropriate import permits.The backgrounder closed by stating, "The dietary supplement industry is working closely with FDA and USDA to ensure compliance with all alerts and guidances relating to BSE." For more information, visit www.nnfa.org.
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