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USP Quality Seal For Supplements Now On Store Shelves
Rockville MD, 17 December 2002

Millions of Consumers Will Have Confidence When Purchasing Supplements Verified by Rigorous, Independent Testing Program

certification mark

Consumers concerned about the quality and purity of vitamins and other dietary supplements can now look for the United States Pharmacopeia's (USP) new Dietary Supplement Verification Program (DSVP) certification mark on product packaging. The DSVP mark signifies that the supplement has undergone rigorous independent testing and verification from the same public health organization that has been setting medicine and dietary supplement standards since 1820.

"Today, USP is applying its scientific expertise and rigorous standards to the supplement industry," explains John T. Fowler, chief operating officer at USP. "By selecting a supplement with USP's DSVP certification mark, consumers will have greater confidence in the products they purchase."

Dietary supplements, including vitamins, nutritional supplements and sports nutrition products, consumed by about 151 million Americans who spend about $17 billion annually. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates these supplements as foods, not medicines. USP is named in the law administered by the FDA as the nation's official compendium for dietary supplement standards, although compliance with these standards is voluntary, and not enforced by the FDA.

USP's Dietary Supplement Verification Program (DSVP) was first launched in November 2001 to help inform and safeguard the growing number of consumers who use dietary supplements. The program responds to the need to help assure the public that dietary supplement products contain the ingredients stated on the product label. If a product submitted to DSVP meets USP's rigorous standards, it will be awarded the DSVP certification mark.

USP's Council of Experts will not accept dangerous products into the verification process. However, no dietary supplement certification mark can accurately verify health benefits or other nutritional support claims made on product labels. USP encourages consumers to speak with their physician or health care provider to evaluate their individual use of dietary supplements.

However, USP's DSVP certification mark does help to assure consumers, health care professionals and retailers that a dietary supplement product:

  • Contains the declared ingredients on the product label

  • Contains the amount or strength of ingredients declared on the product label

  • Meets requirements for limits on potential contaminants

  • Has been manufactured properly by complying with USP and proposed FDA standards for "good manufacturing practices" (GMPs)

USP is uniquely qualified to provide verification for dietary supplements. Founded in 1820, the organization sets standards for the ingredients and the processes for producing pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements and health care technologies. In fact, during the organization's first 120 years, USP established standards for more than 600 botanicals and their preparations, and as early as 1942, USP began to develop standards for vitamins and vitamin products.

Several supplement manufacturers have already submitted products to be tested and verified, and supplements with the USP DSVP certification mark are now appearing on store shelves nationwide. Consumers can visit http://www.usp-dsvp.org/ for additional information on DSVP and to obtain a complete list of participating manufacturers.

USP—The Standard of Quality

USP is a non-government organization that promotes the public health by establishing state-of-the-art standards to ensure the quality of medicines and other health care technologies. These standards are developed by a unique process of public involvement and are recognized worldwide. In addition, USP has several other public health programs that focus on promoting optimal health care, including the Dietary Supplement Verification Program (DSVP), Health Care Information, and Patient Safety. USP is a not-for-profit organization that achieves its goals through the contributions of volunteers representing pharmacy, medicine, and other health care professions, as well as science, academia, government, the pharmaceutical industry, and consumer organizations.


United States Pharmacopeia (USP).end-of-story



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