SILVER SPRING, MD August 26, 2008 – A study in the Aug. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concludes that Ayurvedic medicine products made by American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) members are significantly “less likely to contain metals.” 

While the study by Robert B. Saper, M.D., Boston Medical Center, et al., found 20% of U.S.- and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic medicines purchased on the Internet contained detectable levels of lead, mercury or arsenic, the researchers also found products made by AHPA members were nearly four times less likely to contain these trace elements. These findings demonstrate the commitment of AHPA member companies to the sale of safe and high-quality herbal products.

“A company’s decision to become a member of AHPA represents an investment in quality and a sustained interest in improving standards at the company and industry level,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “The area of trace elements in dietary supplements is one the association has dedicated time and attention to, and, through the work of our committees, we will continue to assist AHPA companies in reaching their quality standards.” 

Saper et al., conclude with a suggestion that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandate and enforce limits for heavy metals in dietary supplements, and “this suggestion should be seriously considered, not just for dietary supplements but also for conventional foods,” McGuffin said.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the only national trade association devoted to herbal issues. Representing the core of the botanical trade—comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products—our mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of quality with respect to the way herbal products are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Web site: