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AAAS Annual Meeting

Symposium: Plant-Derived Medicinal and Dietary Supplements Quality, Efficacy and Safety

Dr. Joseph Betz will be participating in this symposium on Monday, February 16, 2004, from 12:30-2:00pm.


Quality is the driving force in expanding the natural product industry. The lack of appropriate and easily available quality control technology dramatically affects the industry economy. It became obvious that commonly used chemical standardization by a single marker cannot accurately predict the biological responses of complex botanical preparations. The main objective of the proposed Symposium is to call attention to a) the distinction of the rapidly growing natural product industry and the related problems of quality, efficacy, and safety of plant-derived medicinal and dietary products, and b) the need for scientifically valid quality control and standardization protocols for any herbal medicinal and nutraceutical preparations versus their pharmaceutical counterparts. The natural products industry is characterized by an enormous gap of scientific information about the interaction of a variety of important biologically active constituents in situ and during processing. Lately, the medical establishment has been calling upon the natural products industry, NIH, and FDA to set better standards, enhance quality, address safety issues, and provide scientific evidence that botanical preparations can in fact deliver the benefits they claim. The newly proposed cGMPs are a first step towards enhanced regulation and potential enforcement of more rigorous manufacturing practices. The proposed Symposium will clearly demonstrate the rationale of how innovative research that leads to development of easily available quality control technologies can add value to natural health products in the marketplace and make them more efficacious by monitoring predicted pharmacological activity.