Press Release


New US botanical testing service makes debut at Expo West 2012 

(Asheville, NC) – Bent Creek Institute and The North Carolina Arboretum, based near Asheville, NC, have formed a new non-profit, university-based botanical ingredient quality testing services network. The service, named US Botanical Safety Laboratory (“USBSL”), will begin offering routine botanical identity, purity, and phytochemical composition testing of botanical ingredients starting April 23, 2012. Purity tests will include microbials, heavy metals, and pesticides. USBSL is a network of non-profit testing laboratories in North Carolina with a depth of botanical domain expertise. The founding USBSL partner labs are the Bent Creek Germplasm Repository at The North Carolina Arboretum, the NC BioNetwork BioBusiness Center Laboratory at the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and the David H. Murdock Research Institute at the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC.

USBSL will serve a variety clients in academia, public non-governmental organizations, and private industry supply chains who are seeking to verify the integrity, authenticity, and purity of their botanical ingredients. USBSL’s botanical identity testing will be backed by botanical vouchers maintained by Dr. Joe-Ann McCoy, Laboratory Director of the Bent Creek Germplasm Repository. Dr. McCoy is a respected medicinal plant physiologist and microscopy researcher who is an Advisory Board member to the Amercan Botanical Council in Austin, TX. The Bent Creek Germplasm Repository houses a national collection of Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa), as well as over 1500 vouchered medicinal plant accessions and a related screening reference extract library.

USBSL is managed executively and administratively by Bent Creek Institute, Inc., an independent non-profit botanical research and economic development organization whose mission is to accelerate sustainable, scientifically-backed, and responsible use of botanically-based integrative therapies that derive from traditional cultural uses of medicinal plants. Bent Creek Institute will receive, qualify, and blind all botanical samples using a secure and private Internet-based sample submission and tracking system, and issue all final certificates of analysis to clients. Under this sample management protocol, USBSL partner labs will never know the identity of the client who submitted the original samples, thus assuring the non-biased nature of the analytical results. Bent Creek Institute’s President, Mr. Greg Cumberford, is a 20-year natural products industry veteran with experience in herbal products manufacturing, regulatory compliance, quality control, and quality assurance. He serves on working committees of the American Herbal Products Association and on the NSF Joint Committee on Dietary Supplements. Bent Creek Institute is an analytical laboratory endorser of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Project and a member of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the United Natural Products Alliance, the American Botanical Council, and the American Herbal Products Association.

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