1998N-0359 - Program Priorities in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nurtrition; Request for Comments
FDA Comment Number : EC358
Submitter : Mr. Merle Weege Date & Time: 09/01/2004 07:09:53
Organization : Ginseng Board of Wisconsin
Other Organization
Category :
Issue Areas/Comments
(Docket No. 1998N-0359)


Department of Health and Human Service

Subject: Comments on program priorities in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

In reference to U.S. Senator Russell D. Feingold?s letter to the Honorable Robert Bennett, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development & Related Agencies, dated July 8, 2004. Wisconsin Ginseng Growers continue to express concerns about contaminated Ginseng products entering into the United States. The Ginseng Board of Wisconsin has conducted numerous private tests on imported retail ginseng products and found chemicals such as DDT, Lead, PCNB and Arsenic present. These chemicals are not permitted for use on Ginseng grown in the U.S., and we have been working with the FDA to ensure that these findings result in adequate enforcement measures. However, FDA has noted in correspondence that its resources are limited, which has restricted its ability to focus adequately on contaminated Ginseng imports.

The Ginseng Board of Wisconsin is involved with Health research and developing Ginseng value added products. With concerns enhancing the security of the nations foods supply, the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin is concerned for the consumers that are unaware the contamination exists. The following is a list of some products Ginseng is used in:

 Chewing Gum
 Candy
 Tea
 Beverages
 Energy Bars
 Spitless chew
 Capsules
 Bulk root, powder and extract
 Health and Beauty supplies.
 Dietary supplements.

Today, contaminated whole Ginseng roots and other products are literally being smuggled into the United States through the borders, being declared as other products such as dried vegetables, herbs and spices to name a few.

The Ginseng Board of Wisconsin appreciates the opportunity to express our concerns regarding the security of the country's food supply and encourages the FDA and CFSAN to include Ginseng contamination into the 2005 ?A-List? workplan.

Thank you,

Merle 'Butch' Weege
Ginseng Board of Wisconsin
7575 Bombardier Ct Ste 300
Wausau WI 54401

715-845-7300 Phone
715-845-8006 Fax