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New Standards for Botanical Supplements

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Whether you take ibuprofen for headaches or echinacea to stave off the common cold, you'll be glad to hear there are people out there making sure the medicines you take actually work. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration determines whether foods, drugs and dietary supplements are safe for human consumption and in what amounts they should be taken. But another organization that's been around for more than a century has been helping to protect the quality of those medications. The United States Pharmacopeia a non-profit organization that works to ensure that more than 3,400 prescription and non-prescription drugs, nutritional and dietary supplements contain what they say they do. Recently USP established a new advisory panel on botanicals. Those are supplements like black cohosh and St. John's Wort available over-the-counter to treat problems ranging from menopause to depression. ideastream's Karen Schaefer spoke with the head of dietary supplements at USP, David Roll. Roll says his organization has been setting standards for medications since modern medicine began.

Thursday, December 12, 2002 at 1:27 pm