Quality Assurance

 Information on Quality Assurance Practices:          

on organics, wild crafted herbs and third party testing.

 

When I began learning about Synergy and Nature's Sunshine I had a lot of questions about their standards in their quality and whether or not they were actually organic.  I found that their Manufacturing practices ensure that their product actually exceeds FDA and all ORGANIC product requirements and regulations making their products second to none. I hope you enjoy some of the correspondence below I had on several occasions which some of the science team and research Dr.'s at NSP regarding their products.


From: Health Sciences at Natures Sunshine Email: hs@natr.com
Date:  Tue, 3 Oct 2006
RE: Core Greens - Are any of the ingredients in Core Greens organic? And if so, how come it is not labeled so? Is your intention to use organics whenever possible?  What are your Quality Assurance practices? Thank you. Mike Costa.  Mike@MikeCostaArt.com

Thank you for your inquiry.
 
Synergy WorldWide is committed to having the best herbs, vitamins, and supplements from 100% pure, natural sources.  When applicable, we purchase organic-certified herbs. The organic certification process is primarily for marketing purposes.  The term organic refers to a growing method of plants that does not utilize any synthetic chemicals.  Our own extensive farm auditing and raw material testing processes ensures that our herbs meet organic standards.
 
Over 80% of our herbs are wild-crafted, which means our herbs are hand-harvested from the wild.  Wild-crafted herbs are not grown on farms, and hence cannot be certified organic. However, they clearly are not grown with fertilizers, pesticides, etc.  The small percentage of our herbs that are grown on farms are always grown using organic growing methods (we inspect each supplier's farm before we buy from them).  Whenever possible, we buy from organic-certified farms.
 
We buy our herbs from all corners of the globe.  Most of the traditionally used herbs are only grown, or grow best, in their native environments.  Herbs that are native to or are commonly grown in the United States are purchased from U.S. farmers.  Because we buy our herbs from all corners of the globe, we cannot possibly certify all of the herbs that are grown on organic farms. Very few countries outside the U.S. have any kind of standard for organic certification.  Because of this, we stand by our Quality Assurance motto: “The Proof is in the Testing”. If any trace of foreign material, including fertilizers, pesticides, or any other matter is found, we reject the batch and refuse to purchase from that vendor again in the future.  Therefore when you purchase our products you can be guaranteed the product contains no residues from fertilizers or pesticides or other types of contamination.  An organic label does not necessarily mean high quality. Organic can still be contaminated.  The real proof is in the testing, which Synergy WorldWide does to ensure no lead, arsenic, pesticides, contaminants, etc.
 
All  Synergy products are produced in Nature’s Sunshine Products’ (NSP) state of the art manufacturing facility. The following is Quality Assurance information.
 
NSP does extensive testing to ensure that each of our capsule and tablet products meet stringent dissolution and disintegration requirements.  Tablets and capsules are tested in accordance with the United States Pharmacopoeia.  The capsules or tablets are placed in water maintained at 37 degrees C (body temperature) and the motion of the disintegration apparatus simulates the passage of a capsule through the body.  The time required for each tablet and capsule to break down is recorded, and all tablets and capsules must dissolve within 30 minutes to be accepted by NSP Quality Assurance.  Additionally, ongoing stability testing is conducted to ensure that capsules and tablets from a given lot continue to pass disintegration testing throughout the shelf life of the product.
For quality testing, NSP does not rely on third party testing.  NSP has one of the most extensive quality testing facilities and we are considered to be the quality leader in the natural supplement industry.  NSP conducts independent testing to ensure that we provide high quality products.  We meticulously test all raw materials and finished products.  In all, we use more than 300 tests and procedures to ensure the quality of the raw materials we use and the finished products we sell.  A recent expansion of our manufacturing facility enables us to manufacture products following pharmaceutical grade GMPs (good manufacturing practices).
We can guarantee the quality and purity through the best by date of every product we sell because we conduct our own extensive testing on every lot of every product.  This is considered superior to most other companies that don’t have the facilities to do their testing.  These companies have to rely on periodic testing from outside labs.  Third party testing is highly recommended because very few herbal companies have the
resources or staff to adequately conduct their own tests to ensure quality.  NSP is one of the rare companies that can boast a full array of scientific testing equipment, as well as a full staff of scientists (including Ph.D. scientists) to conduct the tests.  Because we are able to test each and every batch of product, we consider our products to be superior to a company's who occasionally hires outside labs to test their herbs and vitamins/minerals on an intermittent basis.
We are confident in the quality of our products because of our extensive testing.  Some of this information is available online at http://www.naturessunshine.com/products/productquality/index.asp
It is not just NSP's opinion that we are quality leaders; an independent source has verified this.  NSP was selected by National Outlook magazine as the "Manufacturer of the Year" for 2002.  Nutritional Outlook is a leading monthly magazine serving the nutritional industry, analyzing developments in regulations, ingredients, quality control, manufacturing technology, packaging, marketing, and new products from the manufacturer's perspective.
View this article: http://www.naturessunshine.com/products/productquality/award.asp
I hope this information is helpful for you.  Thank you!
 
Curtis Walcker, Research Scientist
Health Sciences & Educational Services Department
Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc.
Nature Sunshine is the parent company of Synergy Worldwide and manufactures their products.       


Information on Quality Assurance Practices,            on organics, wild crafted herbs and third party testing. Part II
From:       Askanexpert@SynergyWorldWide.com
Subject:     RE: Why doesn’t Synergy use ‘Organic’ on their label?
To: Mike Costa Date: May 11, 2007
We would have to go through a third party to get the product/ingredient approved for certification. In return this would increase the cost of the products, a cost that we do not have to do because we test all of our ingredients. We must stand behind our motto “the quality is in the testing”. I know what you mean about putting organic on the label but we have found that this doesn’t mean that the quality is there. We can back up everything that we sell because we know what is in each product.

Synergy’s parent company Nature Sunshine Products (NSP) is committed to having the best herbs, vitamins, and supplements from natural sources. When possible, we try to purchase organic herbs, but that it not always possible. Organic does not necessarily mean high quality. Organic can still be contaminated. The real proof is in the testing, which NSP does to ensure no lead, arsenic, pesticides, contaminants, etc.
 
Over 80% of our herbs used in the products are wild-crafted, which means our herbs are hand-harvested from the wild.  Wild-crafted herbs are not grown on farms, and hence cannot be certified organic. However, they obviously are not grown with fertilizers, pesticides, etc.  The small percentage of our herbs that are grown on farms are always grown using organic growing methods (we inspect each supplier's farm before we buy from them).  Whenever possible, we buy from organic-certified farms.
 
We can guarantee the quality and purity of every product we sell because we conduct our own extensive testing on every lot of every product. Very few supplement and herbal companies have the resources or staff to adequately conduct their own tests to ensure quality. If any trace of foreign material, including fertilizers, pesticides, or any other matter is found, we reject the batch and do not purchase from that vendor again in the future.
 
Some of the most important quality assurance tests conducted on our product include:
Acid insoluble testing
Ash testing
Foreign organic matter
Foreign inorganic matter
Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
Heavy metal testing
 
NSP generally does not have third party assays done because most all quality and potency testing can be done in-house. The only times when these are necessary, are when they are needed for marketing purposes or we do not have the analytical equipment to do the testing ourselves.
 
We buy our herbs from all corners of the globe.  Most of the traditionally used herbs are only grown, or grow best, in their native environments.  Herbs that are native to or are commonly grown in the United States are purchased from U.S. farmers.  Because we buy our herbs from all corners of the globe, we cannot possibly certify all of the herbs that are grown on organic farms.  Very few countries outside the U.S. have any kind of standard for organic certification.  Because of this, we stand by our Quality Assurance motto: “The Proof is in the Testing”. If any trace of foreign material, including fertilizers, pesticides, or any other matter is found, we reject the batch and refuse to purchase from that vendor again in the future.  Therefore when you purchase our products you can be guaranteed the product contains no residues from fertilizers or pesticides or other types of contamination.
 
Quality is one factor that sets NSP apart from the competition.  NSP has one of the most extensive quality testing facilities and we are considered to be the quality leader in the natural supplement industry.  NSP conducts independent testing to ensure that we provide high quality products.  We meticulously test all raw materials and finished products.  In all, we use more than 300 tests and procedures to ensure the quality of the raw materials we use and the finished products we sell.  Our manufacturing facility enables us to manufacture products following pharmaceutical grade GMPs (good manufacturing practices).
 
Quality begins in selection, where only the finest herbs and raw materials are obtained. The company’s global sourcing of raw materials ensures that the highest quality products are chosen from each harvest season. After being harvested, these materials are shipped to the manufacturing facility, where they are subjected to a series of in-depth quality control tests to ensure purity, potency and cleanliness. Nature's Sunshine meticulously tests all of the raw materials we receive. Our QA testing continues throughout the entire production process. In all, we use more than 300 tests and procedures to ensure the quality of the raw materials we use and the finished products we sell.
 
Once a product has been produced, it undergoes a battery of tests to assure consistency, quality and potency. The finished product is audited by inspectors for bulk weight, liquid volume, bottle count, bottle sealing and legible lot number. Samples are then given to the QA labs so scientists can complete testing according to finished product specifications. After all tests are completed and the product has passed the inspections, Quality Assurance will release the product. The batch record and a sample of the finished product are retained for future reference. If a customer has a question about a product, QA can refer to the retention sample of the lot in question.
 
Every test we conduct leads to better product quality, and excellence in product quality is what has put our products where they are today--at the top of the industry. You can be assured that with each new product we develop and manufacture, our commitment to excellence will continue.
 


NSP chemists use sophisticated equipment to accomplish these tasks. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography (GC), Mass Spectrometry (MS) including HPLC-MS/MS, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) and Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrometry (UV-VIS) are a few of the instruments at their disposal. NSP scientists’ expertise is recognized worldwide with publication of their methods in peer-reviewed journals.
 
Nature’s Sunshine Products does extensive testing to ensure that each of our capsule and tablet products meet stringent dissolution and disintegration requirements.  Tablets and capsules are tested in accordance with the United States Pharmacopoeia.  The capsules or tablets are placed in water maintained at 37 degrees C (body temperature) and the motion of the disintegration apparatus simulates the passage of a capsule through the body.  The time required for each tablet and capsule to break down is recorded, and all tablets and capsules must dissolve within 30 minutes to be accepted by NSP Quality Assurance.  Additionally, ongoing stability testing is conducted to ensure that capsules and tablets from a given lot continue to pass disintegration testing throughout the shelf life of the product.
 
We can guarantee the quality and purity of every product we sell because we conduct our own extensive testing on every lot of every product.  This is considered superior to most other companies that don’t have the facilities to do their testing.  These companies have to rely on periodic testing from outside labs.  Third party testing is highly recommended because very few herbal companies have the resources or staff to adequately conduct their own tests to ensure quality.  NSP is one of the rare companies that can boast a full array of scientific testing equipment, as well as a full staff of scientists (We have 7 PhD’s on staff as well as 2 pharmacists, and over 15 chemists.) to conduct the tests.  Because we are able to test each and every batch of product, we consider our products to be superior to a company's who occasionally hires outside labs to test their herbs and vitamins/minerals on an intermittent basis.
 
We are confident in the quality of our products because of our extensive testing.  Quality Assurance and Research & Development booklets are available that may be of interest to you.  These booklets provides helpful information about some of the tests we conduct so you can better understand the stringent testing procedures NSP follows and can have the utmost confidence in the products we offer.  Some of this information is available online at http://www.naturessunshine.com/products/productquality/index.asp.
 
It is not just NSP's opinion that we are quality leaders; an independent source has verified this.  NSP was selected by Nutritional Outlook magazine as the "Manufacturer of the Year" for 2002.  Nutritional Outlook is a leading monthly magazine serving the nutritional industry, analyzing developments in regulations, ingredients, quality control, manufacturing technology, packaging, marketing, and new products from the manufacturer's perspective.
 
Ryan Simons
Associate Research Scientist
Health Sciences & Educational Services Department
Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc.

For more information call: Mike  Costa @ www.AlkalizingForLife.com