If you’ve been watching TV, reading the newspaper or surfing the web, you have surely seen some of the truly scary stories about health and quality concerns regarding products originating in China.
Toys, pet food, cups, raw materials and other products from China have been recently scrutinized after incidents that have forced some U.S. companies to issue product recalls due to concerns about heavy metal, chemical and foreign material contamination.
Although these stories have been making the rounds in the media, there is no concern for those using Nature’s Sunshine (NSP) products. Their Quality Assurance experts have spent years developing some of the most sophisticated QA testing protocols in the industry. Nature’s Sunshine always stays a step ahead in issues of quality.
The NSP manufacturing facility is TGA certified, which means they meet the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration Pharmaceutical Standard requirements – the highest standards in the industry. They also test and validate based on the most recent Food and Drug Administration Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).
Every incoming raw material is tested to ensure quality and activity (potency), and to ensure ingredient integrity through identification testing (test for certain activity markers and ingredient attributes), stability testing and micro testing. They even test for pesticides.
The vast majority of NSP’s ingredients are sourced from countries other than China, but the very popular line of Chinese and Chinese TCM products are all sourced from China. The materials that comprise these products are tested, just like all materials, and required to meet all specifications before being used in any products. If there’s ever find a batch of material that fails the Quality Assurance process, it is immediately rejected and not used.
Xiaolan Kou, Ph.D., Nature’s Sunshine’s Manager of Methods Development, explains that NSP’s extensive Quality Control and testing processes assure:
• The use of the highest quality herbal materials.
• Consistency in the manufacturing process.
• The production of a finished product that meets strict microbiological and heavy metal requirements.
She also says that although raw materials are tested by their vendors, they go through rigorous testing procedures at NSP also before being used. These tests include:
• Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (F.T.I.R.)
• Thin Layer Chromatography (T.L.C.)
• High Performance Liquid Chromatography (H.P.L.C.)
• Heavy metal (tests for lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium)
• Microbiological tests (aerobic plate count, mold, yeast, E. coli, salmonella and enterobacteria)
Undoubtedly, there are products on the market that are manufactured with poor-quality materials that may prove to be inactive and ineffective. Costly, inefficient and potentially dangerous for consumers who think they are buying one thing, but are really getting another. This problem is not new to the market, and it isn’t isolated to Chinese materials.
Unfortunately, some U.S. companies are buying low-quality materials for their products and selling them to the unsuspecting consumer. The good news is that Nature’s Sunshine customers can rest assured knowing that Nature’s Sunshine tests every material that comes through its doors and guarantees that every product that leaves its facilities will meet the highest specifications in the industry.