King of Prussia, PA—The Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA) has partnered with the International Probiotics Association (IPA) to establish a Probiotics Working Group to harmonize GMP requirements for probiotic dietary supplements, according to a press release.

Harmonized certification for probiotics is much needed,” said George Paraskevakos, IPA Executive Director, in the press release. “Probiotics are a unique category and need to be treated as such when they are being manufactured as finished products. Increasing quality standards through a certification program will ensure consumers and healthcare professionals have access to probiotic products that have been manufactured with high quality standards and deliver benefits.”

IPA’s mission is to promote the safe and efficacious use of probiotics, representing over 110 companies from over 30 countries. GRMA is dedicated to ensuring that consumers have access to safe, quality products across health and wellness categories.

Probiotics as a group face unique challenges—the fact that they’re alive means that GMP standards have a heightened impact on shelf life, stability, and efficacy. The Working Group will focus on addressing these challenges by evaluating the requirements within both the IPA Manufacturing Guideline and the NSF/ANSI 455-2 standard for dietary supplements, with the goal of reducing audit tourism by having a harmonized set of GMP requirements under the GRMA certification program. Another benefit, according to Paraskevakos, would be ease of mind for consumers: “A harmonized approach not only will ensure quality but also remove confusion in the market which will help consumers make informed decisions when choosing quality probiotics.”

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Allyn Shultis, Executive Director of GRMA, said in the press release: “Providing a consistent set of manufacturing practices and requirements enables the consumer, manufacturer, and retailer all to win. We are really excited to launch the new working group focused on harmonizing the IPA GMP requirements with the publicly accredited consensus standard, 455-2, for dietary supplements.”

All qualified interested partiescan apply here.