American Botanical Council

Click here to view this message as HTML in your browser.
American Botanical Council

P.O. Box 144345, Austin, TX 78714-4345
Phone: 512-926-4900 x129; Fax: 512-926-2345
Contact: Public Relations

Member Advisory 

ABC's Mark Blumenthal Responds to NYT Article "New Doubts about Ginkgo Biloba"

(AUSTIN, Texas, May 7, 2013) On May 1, 2013, ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal sent the following letter to the New York Times. ABC has not shared his letter with members until now, that is, until it was able to determine whether the paper was going to publish the letter, which apparently it is not.

The New York Times
Science Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018

Re: Rabin, RC. New Doubts About Ginkgo Biloba. New York Times, Science Times. Tuesday, April 30, 2013, p. D5.

Dear Sir or Madame:

[I was interviewed by Ms. Rabin for this article, and several of the views of my independent nonprofit research and education organization are mentioned. Thus, I’d like to comment for publication, per below. The letter contains 147 words.]

Results of the National Toxicology Program’s Toxicology Report on Ginkgo, conducted on rodents receiving extremely high doses (55-108 times the normal human daily dose) of an atypical ginkgo extract for two years, are not applicable to humans, as noted in the study itself. The ginkgo is not the standard-setting extract used in most published clinical trials. The article misleadingly states that the FDA “bans” ginkgo in conventional foods and beverages; this is based on a regulatory technicality (food additive provision), not an assessment of ginkgo safety, which FDA hasn’t conducted. In fact, clinical trial evidence and widespread use support the overall safety of ginkgo. The article implies that because ginkgo extract did not prevent cognitive decline in several large clinical trials, that ginkgo is not beneficial, despite compelling evidence from numerous controlled clinical trials demonstrating that ginkgo helps improve cognition and quality of life in older patients.


Mark Blumenthal

Founder & Executive Director
American Botanical Council
Editor-in-Chief, HerbalGram & HerbClip
Austin, Texas



powered by CONVIO
nonprofit software