New Certification Mark for Dietary Supplements Appears on Store Shelves

ROCKVILLE, Md. - Consumers concerned about the quality and purity of vitamins and other dietary supplements can now look for the United States Pharmacopeia's (USP) new 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," said John T. Fowler, COO 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, are 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 maintains that no dietary supplement certification mark can accurately verify health benefits or other nutritional support claims made on product labels. Its DSVP certification mark is designed to 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; and

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

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.
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