GENET archive


GMO-FREE PRODUCTS & POLICY: American Herbal Products Association supports GMO-free products

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SOURCE: American Herbal Products Association, USA

AUTHOR: AHPA Guidance Policy


DATE:   01.07.2007

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AHPA Guidance Policies

AHPA develops guidance policies to advance our Mission to promote responsible commerce in herbal supplements. 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 recommendations, compliance with AHPA’s guidance policies is not a condition of membership. Nevertheless, AHPA encourages its members and non-member companies to adopt each of these policies in the interest of establishing consistent and informed trade practices.

Ingredients that are or are produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (adopted July 2007)

WHEREAS, the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO)1 as a tool in agriculture is viewed by its proponents as providing the potential to meet basic global food needs and deliver a wide range of health, environmental and economic benefits;

WHEREAS, concerns have been expressed about the potential impact of agricultural use of GMO on the environment and health, such that the European Union requires labeling of novel foods or foods containing ingredients as ”no longer equivalent to an existing food or food ingredient” and has proposed additional laws regarding labeling of foods that are derived from GMO crops;

WHEREAS, AHPA supports positions that are based on scientific reasoning and also supports positions that favor a sustainable approach to environmental issues and a responsible approach to health issues related to commerce in herbs and herbal products;

WHEREAS, AHPA supports consumers’ right to be informed on issues that affect their purchasing decisions;


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT AHPA encourages companies that grow, process, manufacture, market or sell herbal products to refrain from using herbal raw agricultural products that are cultivated with GMO technologies, or extracts and natural flavors thereof,2 at least until such time as the above identified concerns have been suitably addressed;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT AHPA supports labeling of consumer goods to identify any ingredients that are herbal raw agricultural products knowingly and intentionally cultivated with GMO technologies, or extracts and natural flavors thereof, in a manner that assures that consumers are informed that the ingredient was cultivated with GMO technology;

EXCEPT THAT nothing in this policy is meant to comment on research regarding GMO technology; and that nothing in this policy is meant to comment on minimal and/or unintentional mixing of GMO and non-GMO crops; and that this resolution does not create an obligation for any AHPA member.


1) GMO is used here as it is a commonly recognized term that refers to genetically modified materials (also known as genetically engineered). Genetically modified is defined as: Made with techniques that alter the molecular or cell biology of an organism by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes. Genetic modification includes but is not limited to recombinant DNA, cell fusion, micro-and macro-encapsulation, gene deletion and doubling, introducing a foreign gene and changing the position of genes. The term as used here does not include breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in-vitro fertilization and tissue culture. Definition adapted from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), accessed March 15, 2007. FDA has developed a Draft Industry Guidance that includes comments for use of the term GMO (Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Developed Using Bioengineering,, accessed on March 19, 2007).

2) This is inclusive of extracts made from GMO herbal raw materials and excipients, fillers, carriers, etc. used to make, or that are present in, extracts. ”Natural flavor” ingredients are those composed of the essential oils, oleoresins or natural extractives of herbs and spices, and various undisclosed excipients, which could include corn or soy-based carriers (e.g. maltodextrin or lecithin).



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