New USDA Standards for Cultivated Ginseng

April 18, 2012

The USDA's new standards and grades apply to American and Asian ginseng.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced new standards and grades for cultivated ginseng. Details of the changes are published in the Federal Register.

The ginseng revisions are a response to a June 2009 request from the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, which USDA says represents about 95% of cultivated ginseng in the United States. The Ginseng Board of Wisconsin requested new standards to better reflect current market values.

The standards will be based on quality and percentage defects, and they will apply to American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), but not wild ginseng.

Revisions include replacing premium, medium, and standard grades with numeric 1–7 grades and new standards and definitions for determining root sizes and ingredient defects.

For more details on the USDA’s new ginseng standards, visit the link above.