AHPA President Represents U.S. Herbal Sector at Endangered Species Meeting

April 25, 2011

AHPA says that among items discussed at the meeting, trade data was reported for American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), and pygeum (Prunus africana).

American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD) president Michael McGuffin represented the U.S. botanical trade industry at a meeting held in Geneva last week discussing endangered plant and animal species.

The meeting was the 19th meeting of the Plants Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Since 1975, CITES has represented an international agreement among 175 countries to maintain three lists of internationally traded plant and animal species that are classified as endangered and warrant monitoring and control-including regulatory controls for both importation and exportation.

AHPA says that among items discussed at the meeting, trade data was reported for American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), and pygeum (Prunus africana). The trade group did not elaborate on the report, but noted that those and many other plants used in herbal supplements and cosmetics are listed on CITES’s list under Appendix II, which denotes species for which international trade is allowed so long as the trade is not detrimental to the survival of the species. (By contrast, species listed on Appendix I may only be traded if cultivated.)

“My attendance at CITES meetings always aims to share industry experience so that pragmatic programs are developed,” McGuffin said. “At the same time, I am actively involved in the committee’s working group to make sure that AHPA, its members, and the industry at large stay informed about any and all CITES developments that can impact the herbal trade.”

“Preservation of plants in trade has relevance not only to governments and environmental groups, but also to herb companies and their customers,” he added.