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International Centre for Research and Training on Seabuckthorn - Miscellaneous (Page 8)

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International Centre for Research and Training on Seabuckthorn - Miscellaneous
challenges of any forthcoming new legislation is to ensure that approved products are safe, effective
and of consistent high quality. This requires reliable application of GMP. Detailed requirements for
GMP are available and it is likely that their implementation will become more widespread in the
natural health products industry on a global scale.
Perspectives for Research and Development with Global Implications and Co-
operation
A key factor relating to seabuckthorn's future into the next millennium is to define a reliable quality
standard, acceptable world-wide, utilizing with integrity seabuckthorn's unique content of biologically
active compounds as a foundation for unadulterated delivery to the consumer. Manufacturers,
marketers, government etc. must all be actively involved never forgetting that good housekeeping
begins at home.
Recommendations
1. Research scientists should take the lead in being practical.
2. Research is needed to define a "marker" constituent(s) from new material, reliable through
processing to consumer.
3. Endorse and define a global united quality control. This could be based on an expanded version
of the Standards published in 1994 by the PR of China for pulp and seed oils. These analytical
standards and methods of analysis are based on the United States criteria. Each country could adapt.
Certificates of qualitative achievement could be issued, pushing any country or market enterprise to
good management practices, necessary in today's global market.
4. Target research to the issue of understanding seabuckthorn's health benefits of food, diet and
medical applications, elucidating the physiologically active components and mechanisms of action
and dosage. Research designed to understand and enhance these benefits is critically important. A
healthy society is a productive society.
5. The impact of food handling and processing on nutrients is well known. Further research is
required to negate the widespread but unsubstantiated belief that processing depletes beneficial
phytochemicals or the bioactive compounds derived thereof, particularly where thermal treatments are
employed. Research is necessary in this area for the development of processes or techniques that will
lead to optimal retention of desirable compounds from farm to consumer.
6. The most useful evidence in evaluating the relationship between seabuckthorn's known
constituents and disease for the purpose of health claims, are well controlled human studies,
conducted on a representative sample of the population of sufficient size, duration, good diet control
and with confirmed analysis and endpoint. If inadequate studies or anecdotal reports are the only
evidence for an aspect of evaluation, no conclusions can be accepted. It is not the number of studies
that is the important issue, but the scientific rigour and the ability to unambiguously evaluate and draw
conclusions from the results. Examples of conduct are available from the United States Federal
Register. This is clearly an important issue that needs to be addressed in order to establish consumer
confidence.
7. Those of us developing and promoting products of seabuckthorn must recognize the
responsibility we assume when we exploit or make claims in relation to health and disease. Because
this is often not the case, government agencies have been compelled to institute regulations that limit
what can and cannot be said on packaging and advertising. There is a great need for dialogue
between those developing products and government health agencies so that the potential benefit of
new products and scientific findings can be promoted to improve the health of the population while at
the same time limiting the sale and promotion of unsafe products and those making inappropriate
claims to efficacy. Most countries are endeavouring to develop workable regulations. Perhaps by the
end of the decade and hence the century, the confusion that presently surrounds the regulation of
natural products will hopefully be diminished.
8. For each country to start and research the points noted above would be terribly expensive.
However, if we are prepared to share in the exercise, in order to reap the benefits, then a co-operative
method of approach and shared cost may be possible. ICRTS is well positioned to accomplish this.

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