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Robert S. McCaleb

Robert McCaleb is President and founder of the Herb Research Foundation, an internationally recognized research and educational resource. McCaleb has been involved in international herb research, regulation, and development for over30 years, with a focus on aromatic and medicinal plants. Since 1980, he has worked with ingredient suppliers for the herb industry, providing technical and marketing assistance to help them produce globally competitive botanicals while increasing income and promoting environmental and social responsibility. He is an industry insider and expert in horticultural production, processing, quality assurance, marketing, and regulatory issues.

McCaleb has worked extensively in this sector throughout Asia and Africa and is highly regarded within industry circles as one of the top experts in the field. For 13 years, he served as Research Director for Celestial Seasonings, America's largest specialty tea company, where he carried out numerous international missions in post-harvest processing, quality management, feasibility studies, and supplier assessments. The Analytical Lab, under his direction researched and recommended equipment for all phases of herb processing and helped pioneer some of the many herbal product innovations introduced by Celestial Seasonings. After establishing the Herb Research Foundation in 1983, his development work extended to Senegal, Mali, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, and Madagascar. A major success story was the introduction of herbs as a cash crop in Mali's Niger River valley in conjunction with a local NGO and Ronco Corporation. More than 1,000 villagers participated in the three-year project, which increased rural income and gave the region high potential as a globally competitive source of herbs such as hibiscus.

From 1976 to 1989, McCaleb was Director of Research at Celestial Seasonings, headed the Research Committees of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the Herb Trade Association (HTA), and served on the Board of Directors for AHPA and HTA. He has advised the US Congress and Administration and government officials of numerous other countries, and in 1995 was appointed by US President Clinton to the seven-member Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels.

McCaleb founded the Herb Research Foundation as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with a mission of furthering the scientific study of herbs in modern health care. He has written numerous articles on medicinal botanicals and serves on the editorial boards of some of the field's leading journals. He is co-author of the critically acclaimed Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs (Prima Publishing, 2000) and has lectured on botanical medicine at Harvard and Columbia Medical Schools and at numerous symposia throughout the world. Educated in Cellular Biology and Botany at the University of Texas and University of Colorado, he has worked with herbs, spices, medicinal, and aromatic plants since 1972; and is currently a PhD. candidate in Ethnobotany at Union Institute.

Key focus and strengths:
Strong ties in the natural product industry; creating business linkages; sourcing and distribution networks; post-harvest handling; quality management and training; marketing; value-adding technologies; research and development; label claims and safety substantiation; regulatory expertise in food and drug law; agroeconomics of commercial herb production; quality assurance programs and testing methodology; training and education.

© 2003 Herb Research Foundation
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