A much needed global standard for wild medicinal plant harvesting was launched at the World Organic Trade Fair last week. Over 70,000 species of plants are traded internationally every year, and 80% of these are harvested from the wild. Due to unchecked harvesting practices, many of these plants are in danger of extinction through over-harvesting and habitat loss.
The new standard, known as the International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ISSC-MAP) is already eagerly being embraced by many retailers around the world to ensure plants used in medicine and cosmetics are not over-exploited. Consumers can expect to seeproducts with this labelling as early as Winter of 2007.