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A little over four decades ago I went from a small town in South India to the United States Of America seeking fulfillment of my dreams. Today with a business conglomerate spread across the globe, I can confidently say that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

The aspiration to dream and the conviction to follow their dreams is what sets apart the extraordinary from the ordinary. Congratulations for choosing to be among the extraordinary. Now we are in it together. You have chosen the right place and the right means. The awesome combination of extensively researched products and a revolutionary business plan is a definite formula for success. We are with you at every step to help you fulfill your dreams and reach greater heights.

Adulteration with Synthetic Curcumin Risks Industry’s Future
Industry and Regulatory Agencies Must Act

We’ve passed the point of giving a “heads up” as a courtesy to the industry and must issue a call to action. It’s been a quite some time since we first began raising our voice against adulteration of natural Curcumin, which we believe represents one of the biggest challenges that the natural products industry has ever faced. Invasion of synthetic Curcumin in the dietary supplement industry has become far more rampant than we thought earlier, risking consumer health and undermining the credibility and sustainability of the industry.

Natural Curcumin is a group of 3 bioactive components present in turmeric, viz. Curcumin, demethoxyCurcumin (DMC) and bisdemethoxyCurcumin (BDMC), collectively termed as ‘Curcuminoids’, which research indicates have synergistic action in promoting an array of health benefits. However, synthetic Curcumin is nothing but the copy of all three or any one or two of these bioactives, and usually made from petroleum-based chemicals. And we need not say that unlike natural Curcuminoids, this sham material certainly lacks any proof of long-term safety, let alone beneficial health effects.

It appears that the ever-increasing popularity of Curcumin has become a threat to its very sustainability. Booming sales suggest that, today, Curcumin has become the top-ranking herbal supplement in the U.S. market. Its future sales are predicted to continue to grow. However, as the industry has witnesed in the past when an herbal product becomes popular, continuous supply of authentic high-quality raw material becomes challenging—previously contracted harvests can suddenly disappear. This creates an unbalanced supply and demand state. Resultantly, certain industry outliers have grabbed this opportunity to infiltrate the market with synthetic versions disguised as naturally derived, or spiking natural Curcumin with synthetic Curcumin.

A number of fair players in the ingredient marketplace are feeling the impact of quacks resorting to unethical introduction of synthetic Curcumin masquerading as natural Curcumin because it is much cheaper to produce and doesn’t rely on harvested turmeric. This unethical and illegal practice does more than eat up the market share of the fair business players like Sabinsa who have invested in producing quality natural material. It poses a serious threat to industry growth in undermining innovation, intellectual property rights infringements, and undercutting years of dedicated research and efforts in bringing out a novel product for the benefit of customers. Synthetic adulteration will also inevitably come to the attention of consumers, sabotaging confidance and sales.

While the industry is being flooded with spurious and inferior Curcumin imitations, agencies and organizations like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC), American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), Natural Products Association (NPA) have not taken the aggressive action on this blazing issue that it demands given the level of harm it is doing. At the same time, industry trade groups are vigilant in responding to negative media coverage criticizing bad science or lack of science, or positioning dietary supplements either as dangerous, unregulated or exerting no benefits. The synthetic adulteration issue is doing a vast amount of harm to the industry, so we call on them to become far more proactive in the synthetic adulteration battle.

Hence, it is the duty and responsibility of all the like-minded, ethical firms, trade organizations and concerned regulatory agencies to work together in safeguarding the honor and viability of the industry by expunging those deceitful companies and practices that undermine quality and grind down standards in the entire industry. Moreover, it is equally important to respect and support the diligent and constant dedication of companies that honestly work towards providing high-quality, scientifically-validated natural products that help improve human health and wellbeing.

That is where the innovation that drives the industry forward happens, and it’s short sighted not to protect it.

What can you, the reader, do? If you are a formulator, specify ingredients that are guaranteed to be of natural origin. Brands can do the same, and reassure their customers that their product testing programs include confirming 100% natural Curcumin. Retailers can ask the manufacturers whose products they carry how they ensure Curcumin ingredients are truly from turmeric root. Consumers can make sure they are taking products with real Curcumin by asking brands how they confirm it. Had this approach been taken in the past when booming popularity of an herb led to rampant adulteration, the industry could have prevented significant erosion of the market for those herbs. Working together we can avoid that fate for Curcumin.

Adulteration with hidden synthetics is not only the opposite of transparency but also misleading to consumers and potentially causes them harm. Sabinsa is ever dedicated to, and in the forefront of, efforts to clamp down on deceptive practices by crooks trying to increase their profit margins by passing off cheaper and potentially harmful synthetic version of Curcumin as natural. By Sabinsa’s staunch advocacy of the Curcumin market’s longevity, we contribute something even more enduring than what our strong science endeavors and patent on Curcuminoids did for the past 20 years.

Imagine. Believe. Achieve.

Dr Muhammed Majeed, a native of Kollam in Kerala, introduced the Americans “Ayurveda”, the traditional Hindu medicine that can act as a complete curative to their various ailments.

After taking B Pharm from Trivandrum Medical College ,
Dr Majeed went to US in 1975 to take MS in Pharmacy and PhD in Industrial Pharmacy. He came out with new healthcare products with their actives taken from the herbs and also researched into the medicinal values of some plants which are not mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts.

Creating a sustainable herbal cultivations program throughout India, and helping farmers becomes more educated. Today his farming program expands outside India.

160+ Distinguished patents achieved. A testament to the Culmination of research and development in areas such as treating obesity and skin health, cancer therapy and much more.

In 1988, Dr. Majeed founded Sabinsa Corporation, a company that was set up to market more than thirty standardized botanical extracts, several of which are derived from Indian based plant materials, for use in various supplements and products.

Considering the importance of biodiversity of medicinal plants and to maintain the sustainability for future generations, the company has taken up a successful initiative over the last 10 years by undertaking and promoting large scale commercial cultivation of medicinal plants globally.

Over the years this effort has translated into a large scale cultivation model involving more than 40000 acres and supporting thousands of farmer families.

The Dr. Majeed Foundation supports children from poor families for their education, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. Funding for schools to have proper infrastructure, books and computers is also supported.