The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the only national trade association that is focused primarily on herbs and botanicals and herbal products. All of AHPA's activities are focused on its mission, which is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products, and are undertaken to maintain and improve market opportunities for companies that sell herbs, herbal and botanical products, and other health-related products, including foods, beverages, and personal care products, and to ensure that consumers continue to enjoy informed access to a wide choice of goods.
Founded in 1982, AHPA is the oldest of the non-profit organizations that specializes in service to the herbal industry. It is the voice of the herbal products industry and the recognized leader in representing the botanical trade. With more than 280 members, AHPA's membership represents the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of botanical and herbal products.
AHPA represents the industry on many levels. We are in active communication with key legislative allies — as well as critics — in the U.S. Congress, and we communicate regularly with the many federal regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over this industry, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and others.
AHPA is also involved with key scientists and organizations that conduct research on herbs and botanicals and maintains an active role with the various standards-setting organizations involved in the herbal trade. We also pay close attention to the media, and are in constant communication with reporters and publishers in our quest to improve the quality of information about herbs and botanicals.
If your company grows herbs, or if you manufacture or process herbal or botanical ingredients or market herbal or botanical products, we invite you to become an AHPA Active Member! If you provide a service to this trade, please consider a role as an AHPA Associate Member. While you invest in growing your business, your membership ensures that AHPA best represents those interests that are important to the entire trade, as we have done so successfully for nearly 30 years.
To learn more about AHPA's most recent activities on behalf of the herbal products industry, visit the AHPA News Room — and welcome to AHPA!
AHPA's key areas of activity:
Federal Agencies/Offices — AHPA actively engages with the various federal agencies and offices that generate and influence policies for the regulation of herbal and botanical products. These include: Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Institutes of Health (including the National Commission for Complementary & Alternative Medicine and the Office of Dietary Supplements), and others.
U.S. Congress — AHPA staff has developed strong working relationships members of US Congress, both in the Senate and the House of Representatives, and on both sides of the partisan aisle. AHPA employs a professional lobbyist to ensure that AHPA is at the table as the key issues are discussed and debated, and shaped into new legislation.
State and Local Government — AHPA monitors the activities of state and local governments and represents the herbal and botancial products industry as issues arise that affect the manufacture and sale of herbal products.
Scientific — AHPA's Chief Science Officer and staff are actively involved with the most well-regarded scientific organizations for herbs and botanicals, including the U.S. Pharmacopeia, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, AOAC International, NSF International, and various offices of the National Institutes of Health, among others. In addition, AHPA maintains a strong presence at national and international scientific meetings on herbal research. AHPA's involvement in these activities provides informed guidance in the establishment of natural product standards, to ensure that the needs of industry are well understood and are met.
Spokespersons — AHPA's executive staff act as spokespersons for the herbal and botanical products industry by maintaining access to journalists from the national and industry media. This role enables AHPA to publicize the benefits of herbal products and to respond and remedy any inaccuracies that are published about herbs and herbal and botanical products. AHPA's executives have been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio (NPR), Associated Press, Reuters, Los Angles Times, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and many others.
Letters to Editors — AHPA continually monitors the media and numerous scientific journals to evaluate their representations of herbal and botanical products. AHPA writes letters to the editor when needed to correct erroneous information and to clarify editorial that is not presented accurately. AHPA's letters have appeared in many of the publications listed above and also in Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, and many daily newspapers.
Public Relations — Through its advocacy, AHPA promotes the responsible commerce of herbal and botanical products. Additionally, through its publications, its participation in the national Herb Day, its support of the AHPA-ERB Foundation, and its social media outreach, the organization promotes the responsible use and purchase of herbal products to the public.
Keeping You Informed — AHPA's regular Update and Alert emails and our monthly newsletter, The AHPA Report, keep AHPA members informed as soon as events occur that may have a bearing on their business. Whether from the legal and regulatory, science, media or market arenas, AHPA keeps its members informed.
Educational Seminars — AHPA regularly produces educational teleseminars, webinars and in-person events where leading experts make informative presentations on the relevant issues that pertain to the continued success and growth of the herbal and botanical products marketplace. Previous events have addressed:
- New Dietary Ingredient guidance and filings
- Current Good Manufacturing Practices
- Developing an in-house adverse event report management system
- Ensuring ingredient cleanliness
- How to manage FDA site inspections
- Complying with new food allergen labeling requirements
- Substantiating product claims
Many of the support materials and proceedings from these educational events are available for purchase in the AHPA Book Store.
Resource Documents and "Tools You Can Use" — AHPA continues to produce resource documents, tools, and publications to help AHPA members to comply with the sometimes labyrinthine state and federal regulations and to help companies "raise the bar" in their manufacture of herbal and botanical products. These documents are available in the AHPA Book Store.
Self-Regulation (click on the links to view the documents)
AHPA's Code of Ethics — AHPA members agree to comply with the Association's Code of Ethics & Business Practices, which contains trade requirements adopted by the association. Revised on an ongoing basis, as needed, AHPA's trade requirements are created and codified when the industry determines that policies beyond those mandated by federal laws serve the common interest of the industry and our consumers. When we as an industry take greater responsibility for our goods and services through self-regulation, we set a new industry standard and take better control of our own destiny.
AHPA Guidance Policies — AHPA develops guidance policies to advance our Mission to promote responsible commerce in herbal and botanical products. These policies address a variety of labeling and manufacturing issues and reflect the consensus of AHPA's members and its Board of Trustees. Unlike AHPA's trade requirements, compliance with AHPA's guidance policies is not a condition of membership. Nevertheless, AHPA encourages its members as well as non-member companies to adopt each of these policies in the interest of establishing consistent and informed trade practices.
AHPA Committees — AHPA's committees allow members to exchange information about the critical issues that face all levels of herbal and botanical manufacturing and trade. In addition, AHPA members are at the forefront of creating new guidelines that advance responsible trade. Most of AHPA's policies and resources are generated within AHPA's committees. AHPA members may join any or all of the following active committees: Analytical Laboratories, Animal Products, Ayurvedic Herbal Products, Botanical Raw Materials, Chinese Herbal Products, Communications, Education, Finance & Governance, Government Relations, International, Small Business, Standards, and Strategic Planning.