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Industry News
December 22, 2010

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Vitamin Retailer News
Passage of Food Safety Reform Draws Industry-Wide Applause
After ping-ponging between chambers three times in the past month, Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that will help tighten food safety oversight. The bill would increase consumer protection by giving the FDA the authority to order product recalls, requiring food manufacturers to keep more detailed food safety plans, allowing the FDA greater access to food company records and other provisions. It also includes provisions to protect organic farmers and producers from costly duplicative requirements.

The legislation, originally passed November 30 by the Senate in a 72-to-25 bipartisan vote, first cleared the House of Representatives as an addition to its Continuing Resolution for funding the federal government without a new appropriations bill in place. When Senators were unable to pass an identical bill, they subsequently approved food safety by unanimous consent as a stand-alone measure on December 19. The legislation next goes to President Obama for his expected signature.

“As an early supporter of food safety reform, the OTA is pleased that this critically needed legislation will provide greater consumer protection from food-borne illness, and is crafted to protect organic producers from duplicative trace-back and record-keeping systems, or any requirements that would violate National Organic Standards,” said Christine Bushway, Organic Trade Association's executive director and CEO.

Fully supporting an improved food safety system, OTA is especially pleased that members of Congress recognized that steps taken by organic producers align with the goals of food safety reform, including business registration, record keeping and audits, and inspection requirements.

Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, commended Congress. “FSMA was a demonstration of a thoughtful and bi-partisan approach to crafting meaningful and necessary legislation,” said Mister. “Congress has now ensured that FDA will have the additional tools needed to help protect the public health in the area of food safety. We congratulate members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee for their tireless work over the last four years to pass meaningful food safety legislation.”

In a statement, The Natural Products Association (NPA) thanked the US House of Representatives and the US Senate for passing the Act.
 
“After a three-week procedural roller coaster ride, the Food Safety bill has cleared Congress and is now before the president. Enactment of the bill is an important win for NPA and the industry,” said John Gay, NPA executive director and CEO. “Provisions that would hurt natural products retailers and suppliers were modified or removed from the bill, and measures supported by the industry were included. This legislation demonstrates the impact of the strong grassroots voice of NPA members and others in the industry.”

Nordic Naturals Expands Vitamin Angels’ “Thrive to Five” Program
Nordic Naturals’ (Watsonville, CA) 2010 partnership with Vitamin Angels and its “Thrive to Five” program has provided a valuable contribution to the distribution of micronutrients to children in the Dominican Republic by supplying important omega-3 essential fatty acids. Based on a shared commitment to improving children’s health worldwide, Nordic Naturals’ 2010 contribution provided nearly 3,000 children in the Dominican Republic with Children’s DHA™, delivering the omega-3s they need for healthy development.
 
Nordic Naturals is the first company to provide a donation of fish oil product to Vitamin Angels’ “Thrive to Five” program, which focuses on giving children under 5 years of age the vital first step they need to excel physically and cognitively.
 
Meredith Greiner, marketing manager with the organization, said “Vitamin Angels is a pure and powerful force in the world and this innovative partnership allows us to carry out our shared commitment of improving global health.”
 
Howard Schiffer, Vitamin Angels’ president and founder, commented, “Nordic Naturals has been a key supporter of Vitamin Angels for years. Their contribution has helped Vitamin Angels realize our vision—to truly have a major impact on global health by reaching the children who would otherwise go unreached.”
 
Vitamin Angels is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization, whose “Thrive to Five” program is dedicated to overcoming malnutrition by advancing the availability of nutritional supplements to at-risk children under the age of 5, as well as to new and expecting mothers in 25 countries on four continents, including the US.

For more information about Vitamin Angels, visit www.vitaminangels.org.

Organic Products Retailer News
Bossa Nova A�ai Certified Organic
Bossa Nova (Cincinnati, OH) recently announced that all five varieties of its açai juice beverages have received organic certification from Quality Assurance International (QAI). Bossa Nova açai juice beverages with new organic labels will hit stores across the country early next year.
 
“Earning organic certification for our açai juice beverages was a natural progression in our commitment to quality,” said Mark Ozimek, Bossa Nova brand manager. “As the pioneer that brought clarified açai juice to the US, we are excited to take this step to further underscore the natural goodness of our beverages to consumers.”   
 
According to recent consumer insights from Mintel, a leading international research firm, 59 percent of consumers say they are interested in organic products. In addition, 62 percent of consumers say they plan to eat healthier in the upcoming year, but many complain that healthier food does not taste as good.

For more information on Bossa Nova, visit www.bossausa.com.

Mambo Sprouts Forecasts 2011 Organic and Natural Buying Trends
Eco-consumers are as committed as ever to shopping organic in 2011, but they’re not “buying” those all natural product labels, according to a recent MamboTrack™ study by Mambo Sprouts Marketing (Collingswood, NJ), a natural and organic product marketing and promotions company.

Consumer skepticism over natural product labeling was a highlight of the recent MamboTrack study. The company surveyed the organic buying habits of 1,000 natural product consumers to get an outlook for the coming year.

Health and natural consumers were not confident that products labeled natural truly held up to the word. One in three (34 percent) were either “not very” or “not at all” confident in current natural labeling. Two in three (65 percent) were “very interested in a uniform standard” to certify natural products—including ingredients and processes—that are labeled as natural. Another one in four (25 percent) were “somewhat interested.”

Notably, natural and organic consumers were most likely to prefer natural labeling certification by an independent, non-profit organization (33 percent) and/or a government standard (27 percent). Respondents were less interested in an industry/company supported standard (23 percent) or retailer certification (18 percent).

Other key findings revealed a growing interest in mobile and digital coupon promotions. Consumer use of cell phone/mobile coupons is forecast to grow from 11 percent in 2010 to 31 percent in 2011. Online printable coupons, already popular, also saw gains from 90 percent to 96 percent.

Consumer interest in technology and store location-based coupons is expected to continue with one in two consumers planning to use more online printable coupons (56 percent), cell phone/mobile coupons (46 percent) and in-store coupons (45 percent) in the coming year.

For more information on Mambo Sprouts and the MamboTrack study, visit www.mambosprouts.com.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
Cyvex Nutrition Acquired by Omega Protein Corporation
Omega Protein Corporation (Houston, TX), a leading producer of omega-3 fish oil and specialty fishmeal, acquired Cyvex Nutrition (Irvine, CA), the companies announced on December 17.

Matthew Phillips, Cyvex’s president and COO, will continue with Cyvex as its new CEO. Gilbert Gluck, founder and former Cyvex owner, will continue to work with the ingredient supplier as a consultant.

“I have spent the last 26 years building Cyvex into the industry’s leading provider of proprietary, condition-specific ingredients. Now, I would like to spend more time pursuing other interests,” stated Gluck. “Being acquired by Omega Protein Corporation will allow Cyvex the opportunity to grow its KriaXanthin marine oil business within the fish oil market, as well as provide me with a new set of opportunities."

“The acquisition of Cyvex provides Omega Protein with a strong line of non-marine- based products and a stronger omega-3 distribution network for OmegaPure, our proprietary refined menhaden fish oil,” said Joe von Rosenberg, Omega Protein’s chairman of the board, president and CEO. “Cyvex provides us with an immediate presence in the human health and wellness segment and we now will have access to the top supplement retailers who purchase a variety of ingredients, including fish oil.”

Embria�s Reeves Appointed to Iowa State Wellness Board
Stuart Reeves, PhD, director of research and development for Embria Health Sciences (Ankeny, IA), has been appointed to the External Advisory Board of the Nutrition and Wellness Research Center (NWRC) at Iowa State University. During his three-year term, Reeves will contribute to the Center’s mission by participating in strategic planning activities.

“Iowa State’s Nutrition and Wellness Research Center works tirelessly to provide researchers with the infrastructure and technical resources to support science that improves human health and well being,” stated Reeves. “It is an honor to be appointed to the NWRC’s Board and offer my expertise in the areas of biotechnology and natural health.”

Reeves, an author, researcher and international biotechnology scientist, has helped spearhead research on the health benefits of a balanced immune system. He has authored dozens of peer-reviewed papers for such revered publications as Advances in Therapy, Nutrition Research Journal, and The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. He has extensive experience in the natural product, nutritional supplement and food and beverage industries, including various aspects of manufacturing, processing and analysis. Reeves earned a bachelorss degree from Imperial College, London, and a PhD from Kings College, London, followed by post-doctoral studies at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

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