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Industry News
June 23, 2010

Vitamin Retailer News
NPA, NPF Announce Leadership
The Natural Products Association (NPA) installed its 2010-11 board of directors during its 73rd annual trade show and convention, Natural MarketPlace 2010. Newly elected executive committee and board members were sworn in Saturday, June 12 during the association's Annual Business Meeting, held in Las Vegas, NV.

Jeff Wright, owner of Wright’s Nutrients, a retail store in New Port Richey, FL, was announced as president-elect of the association. Wright has been active in the NPA for nearly two decades, serving on the NPA-South regional board and three years on the national NPA board of directors. Wright will step into the presidency in 2011.

The NPA’s 2011 executive committee is: Pat Sardell, owner of Country Vitamins (Corvallis, OR), president; Wright, president-elect; Capsugel’s (Peapack, NJ) Peter Zambetti, treasurer; and Carlson Labs’ (Arlington Heights, IL) Carilyn Anderson and Tom Sokoloff, owner Paradise Health Foods (Palm Bay, FL), the association’s supply council chair and retail council chair, respectively.

In related news, The Natural Products Foundation (NPF) announced the election of Derek Hall as chairman of the organization’s board of directors. Hall was elected to a one-year term as chairman at the Foundation’s annual meeting at Natural MarketPlace June 11.

Hall, who served as NPF treasurer during 2009-10, is an industry veteran with a history of executive experience. He is a founder and CEO of Qivana, a network marketing company offering dietary supplement products. Previously, he served as president and CEO of Nature’s Way, Botanicals International, Integrative Therapeutics, Unigen USA and Univera. In addition, he served as vice-chairman and CEO of ECONET, Inc.

NPF also announced that Deborah Knowles has been named executive director of the organization. Knowles was most recently the director of development at the NPF, after joining NPF with the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA). She is a health industry veteran with many years of experience working in management and consulting positions. Her background includes the start-up, development and sale of two successful companies focused on health care cost management. She received her MBA from Cornell University.

FDA Releases Caution of Overdose With D Droppers
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning of the potential risk of overdosing infants with liquid vitamin D. “Some liquid vitamin D supplement products on the market come with droppers that could allow parents and caregivers to accidentally give harmful amounts of the vitamin to an infant,” said FDA on its website. “These droppers can hold a greater amount of liquid vitamin D than an infant should receive.”

“It is important that infants not get more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin D,” said Linda M. Katz, MD, MPH, interim chief medical officer in FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Parents and caregivers should only use the dropper that comes with the vitamin D supplement purchased.”

Vitamin D supplements are recommended for some infants—especially those that are breast-fed—because deficiency of this vitamin can lead to bone problems such as thinning, soft and misshaped bones, as is seen with the condition known as rickets. However, excessive vitamin D can cause nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, frequent urination, constipation, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, muscle and joint aches, confusion and fatigue, as well as more serious consequences like kidney damage.

FDA recommended that the vitamin D supplement product remains with its original packaging, and to only use the dropper that came with the product. Additionally, it was advised that any confusion about dosage be brought to the attention of a trusted health care practitioner.

Organic Products Retailer News
Organic Coffee Tops $1.4B
The North American organic coffee market topped $1.4 billion in 2009, according to new data released by market analyst Daniele Giovannucci at the fifth annual tasting event hosted by the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), at New York City’s Union Square Café. Even in a recession, Giovannucci found, organic coffee continued its reign as the single most valuable organic product imported into North America.

According to Giovannucci’s North American Organic Coffee Industry Report 2010, more than 93 million pounds of organic coffee were imported into the United States and Canada in 2009. The average annual growth rate of 21 percent for organic coffee documented by Giovannucci in the five years from 2004-09 dwarfs the estimated one percent annual growth of the conventional coffee industry.

The report, available from the OTA, reveals not only the origins, volumes and prices of organic coffee, but also the trends that shape the markets for these and other coffees certified to Bird Friendly, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ CERTIFIED and Starbucks’ C.A.F.E. Practices standards.

According to the results of Cup of Excellence cuppings coordinated by the US-based Alliance for Coffee Excellence, organic coffees were among the winning farms in five countries in 2009—Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua. In fact, the highest ranking attained all year was for organic coffee from the Bolivian farm Agrotakesi SA, earning 93.96 points, more than a full point above the next highest-ranking coffee that year.

Natures Path Honored With Green Awards
Proving that going green can reap big rewards, Nature’s Path Foods (Richmond, BC, Canada) recently accepted the Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Award from the BC Food Processors Association and also placed as runner up for the Washington Manufactures’ Association Innovation Award. These two awards followed a $42,000 grant from Washington State University, used to purchase equipment in order to run Nature’s Path Oven Control Project.

“Over the past year, my team and I have put a great deal of work into monitoring the processing conditions of the ovens and the product entering and exiting the ovens along our major flake producing line and making them more efficient by installing NIR sensors, RH sensors and gas flow meters,” said Ryan Olson, quality insurance manager.

The oven control project was able to achieve following results:

• Observed improved product quality
• Potential to tie the system into automatic controls for the oven, which would react to product output readings
• Consistent and stable flake moisture that has increased on average by one percent, thereby increasing yields by over 150,000 lbs. yearly on a single line
• One percent moisture increase combined with the raised RH results in an approximate energy/gas reduction of 11 percent.

For more information, call (888) 808-9505 or visit www.naturespath.com.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
CRN Speaks on Biomarkes
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) recently expressed at an Institute of Medicine (IOM)-hosted workshop in Washington DC that a lack of validated biomarkers was limiting nutrition research and stifling the flow of information to consumers and health professionals. Andrew Shao, CRN’s senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, led the discussion.

Shao explained that biomarkers, or their absence, are one of the greatest obstacles to diet, nutrition, health and disease research today.

“The lack of validated biomarkers for exposure to nutrition interventions and as surrogate endpoints for chronic disease limits the amount of research that can be conducted, especially using prospective randomized, controlled intervention trials, due to cost and logistical issues,” said Shao. “This, in turn, limits the ability to derive answers to important questions relating to the ability of diet, food and food components to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. For the industry, this translates into fewer health claims; for consumers and patients, this translates into less useful information they and their healthcare professionals have to make informed decisions.”

But Shao went on to explain that even in considering a formal framework to establish biomarkers, the industry is experiencing a positive step in the right direction, since the lists of biomarkers validated as surrogate endpoints for disease and as markers of nutrient exposure are limiting; he hopes that with the implementation of the new framework, the lists can grow. Shao anticipates that a formal biomarker evaluation process would add clarity to product development and consumer understanding alike, as companies investing in research will have a better understanding and broader acceptability of health claims, and consumers can more deeply understand the “clinical endpoint” that these biomarkers represent.

Still, Shao admitted that concerns exist: first, there may not be adequate personnel and financial resources to take the next steps; second, some recommendations that may result run the risk of misinterpretation.

In addition, some of the recommendations made to improve evidence-based regulation clash with current legislation. For example, the recommendation that “Congress should grant the FDA authority to request studies and sufficient authority to act on the results of studies on consumer understanding of claims on foods and supplements” was found by Shao to be “irrelevant and completely outside the Committee’s mandate.”

NPA Enforces Natural Fragrance Certification
Beginning September 1, 2010, the Natural Products Association (NPA) will require all natural fragrances in finished natural products to receive certification in its Natural Standard for Personal Care Products program.

This change effectively eliminates absolutes and concretes, common fragrance ingredients that require the use of petrochemical solvents for extraction and purely synthetic additives, said NPA. The association will continue to allow some synthetic preservatives, limited to those already allowed in the standard, in order to maintain the importance of safe ingredients yet emphasize the use of natural preservatives when applicable. Additionally, NPA will publish an updated “allowed processes” appendix to include extraction, expression and steam distillation to encourage these manufacturing processes for fragrance mixtures. Companies will be required to submit a qualitative list to the NPA that includes the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) name and CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) number of each component in the composition.

NPA will not require anything more than following current INCI labeling procedures where “fragrance” is listed in the ingredient list. Further clarification of using an asterisk (*) on the term “fragrance” and placing a disclaimer underneath and outside the list stating the fragrance is natural is acceptable.

Companies should at least provide the INCI nomenclature for each ingredient, although products with longer ingredient lists have other options available, like listing all components on the company’s website or on additional pages in the primary packaging. Additional options include listing CAS numbers for all ingredients, listing the plant sources and specifying “derived from,” or a combination of options.

To achieve NPA natural certification on personal care products, companies must demonstrate the use of natural fragrances by providing documentation stating the complete composition of each mixture. Companies with previously certified products should meet the requirement when their recertification comes due.

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