The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 11 No. 2 • March 2008

Improving Quality Control in Raw Materials for
Dietary Supplements Imported from China

Many raw materials used in dietary supplements, such as herbs and vitamins, are produced in China and frequently dominate the market, owing to lower prices. Unfortunately, problems with Chinese quality control in, for example, children’s toys and generic drugs, have made the use of Chinese raw materials problematic. Now there is good news to report!

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP), a private standards-setting organization for prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as dietary supplements, opened its third international facility in September 2007 in Shanghai, China. In HerbalGram issue 77, 2008 (, it was reported that “The new USP-China facility will also implement a new program of the Natural Products Association (NPA) for testing Chinese raw materials for conformity to their specifications, including identity, purity, and composition.” Of course, Chinese suppliers will need to submit ingredients if they want the USP testing (which will not be free), and not all will do so. Presumably, there will be a certification process, perhaps with a label designation, to identify the USP-tested and approved ingredients.

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