Thursday, July 3, 2008


NSP leads the way: “Guaranteed Pure” vs “Natural” June 2002
by Spence Masson
Look at manufacturer’s labels – “Guaranteed Pure Ingredients”
Have you ever taken a close look at our product labels? Pretty free of fluff and marketing hype, aren’t they? But one phrase we do like to use is one that you won’t see on any other manufacturer’s labels – “Guaranteed Pure Ingredients”. Why don’t other people use it? Sure, there are lots of other companies out there putting some statement about the “natural” content of their product on their labels - “Natural Ingredients”, and so on. And why, for that matter, doesn’t Nature’s Sunshine follow suit and do the same?
Well, we didn’t make our reputation by following trends, but there’s also an important distinction here. In Canada, you need only a very minimal content of natural ingredients in a product to be allowed to call it “natural” on the label. A product with as little as 10% natural ingredients can be called “natural”, or labelled as “contains natural ingredients”. We obviously want to be able to distinguish ourselves from products like that.
Now, let’s have a closer look at the term “natural”. There are many natural ingredients that people avoid, due to food allergies or personal preference. Things like wheat, yeast, soy, and lactose are all natural, yet some people cannot or choose not to consume them. Crude oil is natural, but you wouldn’t want to drink it. Microorganisms such as bacteria are natural, and bacterial contamination is very common in the natural products industry. When you pull a plant out of the ground, you never know what’s coming along for the ride.
So you can see that simply labelling a product as “natural” doesn’t really mean much. And to rely solely on that statement as an indication of quality would be a big mistake.
NSP has put “Guaranteed Pure Ingredients” on its labels for many years, even though there are no standards or criteria used to evaluate the term. Think of it as our personal guarantee to our customers. Guaranteed pure means that customers can be sure of the purity of the ingredients used by NSP. NSP tests all its raw materials and manufactures its own product – two things that many competitive companies don’t do. Our raw material testing has detected such things as E. Coli and salmonella, heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic, fillers such as lactose, incorrect plant parts and species, incorrectly identified plants and mislabeled drums of raw materials. We would never have picked up any of these problems if we simply relied on the Certificate of Analysis provided by our raw material vendors as proof of quality. Believe it or not, many manufacturing companies rely on the C of A as their only “testing method”.
NSP has set the standard for quality for over 30 years, and has developed many of the quality procedures that are now in wide use in the herbal industry. We have had “Guaranteed Pure” on our labels for many years, and will continue to guarantee the purity, potency and quality of our products.