CRN defends herbal ingredient Ginkgo biloba

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition strongly criticized the Center for Science in the Public Interest earlier this week as that organization petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit the sale of Ginkgo biloba.

“Ginkgo biloba has literally been used for thousands of years, and this attempt by CSPI to discredit this safe and beneficial dietary supplement demonstrates an irresponsible misinterpretation of both the science and the intent of the National Toxicology Program in reviewing ginkgo," stated Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO. "This premature evaluation from CSPI reveals an abuse of its position, a lack of understanding about the regulation of food by FDA, and presents a true disservice to consumers. 

CSPI’s request to FDA to ban ginkgo is based on an NTP report examining high doses of ginkgo force-fed to mice and rats. However, in the second paragraph of the report’s Foreword, NTP states: "Extrapolation of these results to other species, including characterization of hazards and risks to humans, requires analyses beyond the intent of these reports."  

In response to CSPI’s request FDA responded: "It is not scientifically valid to conclude with certainty that dietary supplement products containing Ginkgo biloba are unsafe based solely on data from the new NTP study.”