Michael McGuffin Celebrates 20 Years as AHPA President

We have accomplished so much together since 1999

Silver Spring, Maryland, UNITED STATES

Silver Spring, MD, Aug. 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) yesterday celebrated the 20th anniversary of the day Michael McGuffin began serving as President.

"We have accomplished so much together since 1999!" McGuffin wrote in an open letter to members and the herbal products industry.

McGuffin highlighted several significant accomplishments, including nearly doubling the membership to nearly 400 members and nearly doubling the size of the Board of Trustees to better represent the membership. Several of AHPA's most active committees have been chartered in the last two decades, including the Sports Nutrition, Cannabis, Ayurvedic Products, Chinese Herbal Products, Analytical Labs, International, and Tea & Infusion Products Committees.

Under McGuffin's leadership AHPA also issued second editions of Herbs of Commerce (in 2000) and the Botanical Safety Handbook (in 2013), and launched the AHPA New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) Database in 2005 to extended AHPA's relevance beyond just botanical ingredients. Consistent with AHPA’s long-standing attention to self-regulatory initiatives, the AHPA Board has adopted nearly 30 trade requirements or guidance policies since 1999, all with input from the expertise represented by AHPA’s diverse membership. 

"If you sell dietary supplements today that are labeled as 'organic' in compliance with USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), you will hopefully recall that AHPA was the only trade association that pushed back – and ultimately won – when NOP took the position in 2005 that the USDA organic seal should be reserved only for conventional foods and be forbidden for supplement brands," McGuffin noted in his letter. "You may also remember that it was AHPA that took the lead in getting our industry aligned to support establishment of a new law in 2006 to require submission to FDA of serious adverse event reports associated with a supplement, so we can now take full responsibility for the safety of the products we sell, while we can also show that the supplement category is among the safest classes of goods under FDA’s jurisdiction."

More recently, the voluminous comments (over 400 pages!) submitted by AHPA to the various regulations proposed to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) certainly affected this rulemaking. And of significant interest to many today, AHPA's active participation in the ongoing discussion of the best regulatory framework for the emerging market for hemp and CBD supplements is the only voice informed by nearly 40 years’ experience with the regulation of herbal products and also by a decade of engagement with this controversial herb.

"Throughout the entire 20 years of my time here, AHPA’s Mission has been unchanged – 'To promote the responsible commerce of herbal products,'" McGuffin wrote. "We do this to ensure that consumers continue to enjoy informed access to a wide variety of herbal goods. I often tell my friends that my job is to work not only for the herb industry but also for them, as individuals who demand access to herbs in their personal health care choices, to make sure these choices are protected and preserved."

About AHPA
Founded in 1982, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal products industry. AHPA is comprised of more than 350 member companies, consisting primarily of domestic and foreign companies doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbs and herbal products as foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and non-prescription drugs, and also including companies that provide expert services to the herbal trade. www.ahpa.org


AHPA President Michael McGuffin