• 14 Apr 2014

    Natural Products Center Hosts Annual Botanicals Conference April 15-17

    OXFORD, Miss. – The Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals, the premier annual event for discussing medicinal plants and dietary supplements, is taking a new twist this year to mark the 20th anniversary of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, or DSHEA, of 1994.

    Rather than the latest science on botanical ingredients, the 13th annual ICSB will focus on “how companies can take the lead on raising the bar for quality and safety in the dietary supplement industry,” said Larry Walker, director of the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s National Center for Natural Products Research, the conference’s host since 2001.

    “For the botanical supplement world, there has never been a meeting quite like this,” Walker said. “Regulatory agencies, trade associations, quality assurance, and analytical and safety people, as well as physicians, toxicologists and media representatives will be offering their perspectives on botanicals 20 years after DSHEA.”

    That theme is the topic of the April 15-17 conference’s opening session and keynote address to be delivered by Daniel Fabricant, director the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs. As director, Fabricant advises the FDA on policy issues involving dietary supplements, including the safety of new dietary ingredients, good manufacturing practices, or GMPs, and problems reported by consumers. He also is responsible for ensuring that supplements are safe, meet quality standards and are accurately labeled.

    Before joining the FDA in February 2011, Fabricant was active in the dietary supplement industry. While vice president of the Natural Products Association – this country’s largest nonprofit dedicated to the makers and distributors of natural products – he was instrumental in winning a National Institutes of Health contract for the NPA’s work on a nationwide label database for dietary supplements.

    The opening session of the conference, which takes place at Oxford’s Hampton Inn Conference Center, also features Loren D. Israelsen, president of the United Natural Products Alliance, an international trade association of select companies committed to providing consumers with natural products of superior quality and safety, and Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council, a nonprofit research and education organization.

    Since 1992, Israelson has been executive director of the Utah Natural Products Alliance, which was instrumental in development and passage of DSHEA in 1994. He also is president of LDI Group Inc., a consulting firm specializing in dietary supplements, functional foods and the emerging issues facing both industries.

    Blumenthal helped found several companies that manufacture herbal products, some of the organizations that represent them (the Herb Trade Association, Herbal Products Association and Herb Research Foundation) and the organizations’ publications (Herb News and HerbalGram). A popular guest on radio and television talk shows and source for journalists, editors and writers, Blumenthal is frequently quoted in trade and popular presses.

    The conference’s second session focuses on the FDA’s perspectives on GMP regulations, adverse event reporting systems, labeling and development of new botanical drugs. Angela F. Pope, a consumer safety officer on the FDA’s GMP Team; Cara Welch, a regulatory assistant in the FDA’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs; and Charles Wu, a pharmacologist in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, will provide those perspectives.

    Read more at Ole Miss News. 

    For a complete 2014 conference schedule, visit http://oxfordicsb.org.