The Shanghai laboratory verifies the safety and quality of dietary ingredients from the source to end product against US and European standards.
The ISO 17025 accreditation demonstrates that the facility follows international quality management practices in testing active ingredients, nutritional ingredients, microbiological contaminants, metal contaminants, pesticides, solvent residue and mycotoxins.
Jeff Crowther, executive director of the US-China Health Products Association (USHPA) said that accredited ingredient testing facilities, such as NSF’s Shanghai laboratory, will drive competition among Chinese suppliers and in turn raise standards.
“GMP (good manufacturing practices) compliance, ingredient testing and vendor verification for Chinese companies is very important,” Crowther told FoodNavigator-Asia, and, “NSF’s services and activities will effectively raise the bar for suppliers.”
For Chinese suppliers working with accredited facilities, “it helps to separate their business from all the suppliers in China who chose not to get GMP-certified or have their ingredients tested,” he said.
“Those companies not investing in GMP compliance and other quality systems will find it difficult to attract business,” he continued.
Transparent assurance needed
It is said that more than 60% of dietary supplements sold in the US are imported from China, yet a recent survey by the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) found that 63% would be less likely to buy a China-sourced dietary supplement.
Crowther said that accredited testing facilities in Asia offer a preferred alternative to testing provided by China or post-shipment tests.
Asia has vast sourcing opportunities, he said, and so testing services in the region are important as they enable foreign companies to find “pre-qualified vendors that have chosen to invest capital to prove their products meet quality and safety standards.”