The National Center for Natural Products Research has been funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2001 to develop analytical methods and reference standards for botanical formulations sold as dietary supplements in the U.S. This fundamental research is an essential part of the FDA’s strategy for increasing the quality and safety of products sold in this multi-billion dollar market. The NCNPR was recognized by the FDA as a Center of Excellence for its research of botanical dietary supplements in 2006, and received the FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation in 2009.
NCNPR scientists have trained over 700 FDA field inspectors since 2008, greatly enhancing the FDA’s manufacturing inspection program. The NCNPR hosts the annual International Conference on the Science of Botanicals as part of a cooperative agreement with the FDA. This event is historically the largest conference held in Oxford, Miss. with about 300 scientists, regulators and business leaders from around the world in attendance discussing issues related to the safety and quality of botanical dietary supplements. The conference has been instrumental in facilitating conversations among scientists, industry leaders, government agencies (e.g. FDA, Health Canada, and equivalents from China, Korea, and India) and other interested parties.