Morristown, NJ 11 April 2023 – PLT Health Solutions, Inc announced that it has begun offering CITES-compliant Rhodiolife® Rhodiola rosea in North America. This new development will assure its Rhodiola customers a secure supply of a premium, highly sustainable product that meets all regulatory requirements. In November 2022 CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna – approved a proposal to add Rhodiola spp. to Appendix II. This is a list of species that are subject to controls in international trade. CITES is a voluntary organization, but its decisions are considered binding for the 184 countries that are members. With raw material sourced from the Altai Mountains, extracted in Spain and marketed in the United States, PLT and innovation partner Nektium (Las Palmas, Spain) work with multiple government agencies on three continents to achieve CITES compliance.
According to Devin Stagg, Chief Operating Officer for PLT Health Solutions, the work the two companies have done on CITES compliance underscores a commitment to sustainability for Rhodiola rosea that has been at the forefront of their sourcing and manufacturing strategies for decades. “The CITES program is unique in our industry in that it requires certification and permits related to sustainability for every shipment at every stop along an ingredient’s supply chain. There are no CITES-certified brands or companies, unlike what occurs with organizations like the Non-GMO Verified Project, Kosher, Halal, or USDA Organic. CITES is a Government-to-Government program, which means we work with multiple agencies, each having their own region or country-specific requirements to become CITES compliant,” he said. “Today, PLT has CITES-compliant Rhodiolife available for our customers. The expertise we have developed in this area will ensure we have adequate supplies of this material, and our customers can rest easy that the documentation is handled,” he said.
Sustainability at the Forefront
As one of the first businesses to successfully commercialize Rhodiola rosea extract, PLT innovation partner Nektium pioneered sustainable harvesting and traceability practices for Rhodiola for decades. Since 2012 Nektium has undertaken third party audits of their practices in Siberia every two years. These efforts help to strengthen the sustainable supply chain of Rhodiola rosea. In 2017, PLT and Nektium undertook a successful third-party sustainability and ingredient identity audit, working with Botanical Liaisons and NaturPro Scientific.
In September 2022, PLT announced Nektium’s cultivation program for Rhodiola rosea. This groundbreaking project was the result of over a decade of work in which Nektium was able to achieve a physical and phytochemical profile for its cultivated material that is identical to wildcrafted Rhodiola. Cultivation of Rhodiola rosea has been attempted around the world for some time, but few have achieved success on anything approaching a commercial scale.
Supporting a Premium Rhodiola Ingredient
According to Stagg, sustainability is now a ‘cost-of-entry’ for the Rhodiola rosea business, but providing an optimal ingredient requires more effort. “With a CITES listing, consumer products companies are going to shy away from non-sustainable Rhodiola. But there are other top of mind issues for this ingredient – including traceability, ingredient identity, quality, and capability of being included in novel delivery systems.”
“The Nektium ID Assessment program includes multiple identity tests on every batch of Rhodiolife, including macroscopic and sensorial analysis, development of chromatographic profiles, and independent DNA barcode analysis to ensure authenticity of the raw material. The material is then standardized to provide precise levels of key bioactive compounds, rosavins and salidroside. The resulting HPLC ‘fingerprint’ of the Rhodiolife extract is consistent from batch to batch, and matches with that of the native root. It’s that kind of attention to detail that defines what a premium ingredient can be and is our commitment to our customers,” Stagg said. “Authentication is especially important when adulteration is suspected. Recently, the American Botanical Council’s Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program suggested that high demand for Rhodiola rosea has led to it being mixed or interchanged with other Rhodiola species before being exported from Asia.” he added.