June 2012 John Weeks Integrator Round-up on Natural Products

Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Endorses American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Authentication Program

On May 22, 2010, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) announced that the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) has formally endorsed AHPA’s Botanical Authentication Program. CCAOM reportedly considers the AHPA initiative “a valuable program supporting ongoing quality assurance in the herbal products industry.” The AHPA program consists of two components: identification of known adulterants and information on analytical methods that can be used to ensure botanical identity. The mission of CCAOM is to advance acupuncture and Oriental medicine by promoting educational excellence. Fifty-four U.S. schools and colleges are currently members of CCAOM. Michael McGuffin, AHPA president states: “This endorsement confirms AHPA’s belief that its efforts over the last 15 years to ensure that manufacturers of herbal products have the tools they need to address adulteration issues when they arise is of value to acupuncturists who use herbal products.” AHPA is the national trade association for the herbal products industry. 

Comment: Just as there are places where practitioner-industry relationships are suspect and likely harmful, there are others where such alliances can be useful and valuable. Quality control in natural products is one. Credit CCAOM for recognizing this. I am not aware if chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, or for that matter holistic, functional and integrative medical doctors and nurses who use herbs have gotten involved. I am betting they would be serving their missions by taking a look at this.