Third-party dietary supplement inspection and verification is not required by the FDA, but an informed consumer should look for one these seals when evaluating potential supplement purchases. Here's a quick reference for what each seal guarantees:
Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG)
From www.bscg.org: If you see one of the BSCG Certified Drug Free® seals below, it represents that testing has been conducted according to our certification program requirements to verify the quality of supplements or natural products. If you see the BSCG Certified Drug Free® seal, it indicates that individual batches have been verified to be free of more than 485 banned substances or illicit drugs. If you see the BSCG Certified Quality™ seal below, it represents that testing has been conducted to verify label claims and check for contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, or microbiological agents. If you see the BSCG Certified GMP™ seal below, it represents that audits have been conducted according to our certification program requirements for compliance with 21 C.F.R. 111 Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
From www.informed-choice.org: Informed-Choice is a quality assurance program for sports nutrition products, suppliers to the sports nutrition industry, and supplement manufacturing facilities. It is a monitoring program that certifies that a supplement product and/or raw material that bears the Informed-Choice logo has been ‘skip-lot’ tested (tested at least on a monthly basis) for banned substances by LGC’s world-class sports anti-doping lab. Supplement users can use the search function above to find products that have been through this certification process.
NSF Certified for Sport
From www.nsfsport.com: There are numerous quality components of the Certified for Sport® certification program, which verifies that: products do not contain any of approximately 270+ substances banned by major athletic organizations; the contents of the supplement actually match what is printed on the label; there are no unsafe levels of contaminants in the tested products; the product is manufactured at a facility that is GMP registered and audited twice annually for quality and safety by NSF International.
US Pharmacopeia (USP)
From www.quality-supplements.org: The USP Verified Mark on the label indicates that the product: contains the ingredients listed on the label, in the declared potency and amount; does not contain harmful levels of specified contaminants; will break down and release into the body within the specified amount of time; has been made using safe, sanitary and well-controlled manufacturing practices according to FDA and USP guidelines.