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Industry News
February 2, 2011

Vitamin Retailer News
USDA and HHS Announce New Dietary Guidelines
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius this week announced the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the federal government’s evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity.

Because more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, the seventh edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans places stronger emphasis on reducing calorie consumption and increasing physical activity.

“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines are being released at a time when the majority of adults and one in three children is overweight or obese and this is a crisis that we can no longer ignore,” said Secretary Vilsack. “These new and improved dietary recommendations give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices of healthier foods in the right portions and to complement those choices with physical activity. The bottom line is that most Americans need to trim our waistlines to reduce the risk of developing diet-related chronic disease. Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family, but also for our country.”

The new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans focus on balancing calories with physical activity, and encourage Americans to consume more healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood, and to consume less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars and refined grains.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include 23 key recommendations for the general population and six additional key recommendations for specific population groups, such as women who are pregnant. Key recommendations are the most important messages within the Guidelines in terms of their implications for improving public health. The recommendations are intended as an integrated set of advice to achieve an overall healthy eating pattern. To get the full benefit, all Americans should carry out the Dietary Guidelines recommendations in their entirety.

USDA and HHS will release more consumer-friendly advice and tools, including a next generation Food Pyramid, in the coming months.

For more information, visit www.dietaryguidelines.gov.

Nature’s Gate to Partner with RADIUS Toothbrush
Nature’s Gate (Chatsworth, CA) announced that it will partner with RADIUS toothbrushes for one month to offer discounts on both brands’ products via each other’s websites. This month, in recognition of National Children’s Dental Health Month, Nature’s Gate will offer 40 percent off of a RADIUS purchase with every Nature’s Gate order placed via www.shopnatures-gate.com.

RADIUS will also offer 40 percent off of a Nature’s Gate toothpaste purchase with every toothbrush purchase made via its website, www.RADIUStoothbrush.com. The goal of the program is to educate and encourage natural product users to take a more holistic approach to their oral care regimens.

“We chose RADIUS as a partner because we share important core values: the desire to both promote the health and well-being of the end user as well as that of the environment,” said Jennifer Schweitzer, Nature’s Gate’s brand manager. “In addition to promoting oral health, both brands incorporate environmentally friendly materials into their products and packaging, including natural, recyclable and post consumer recycled materials.”

Organic Products Retailer News
USDA Deregulates Monsanto’s GE Alfalfa; OTA, NGCA “Deeply Disappointed”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), on January 27, announced plans to allow commercial planting of Forage Genetics International’s (FGI) Glyphosate-Tolerant Alfalfa genetically engineered to tolerate St. Louis, MO-based Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide without any federal requirements to prevent contamination of the rest of alfalfa seed and plantings. The genetically engineered (GE) technology is licensed exclusively to the seed maker FGI by Monsanto. The expected impact of this decision is far reaching, particularly to organic farmers.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) stated it is deeply disappointed with the failure to protect farmer and consumer choice. “This creates a perplexing situation when the market calls for a supply of crops free of genetic engineering. The organic standards prohibit the use of genetic engineering, and consumers will not tolerate the accidental presence of genetic engineered materials in organic products yet GE crops continue to proliferate unchecked,” said Christine Bushway, executive director and CEO of the OTA.

She added, “Preserving market and farmer choice and agricultural diversity are central to USDA’s mission and the future of rural American livelihoods. This failure to do so will make it increasingly difficult to meet the growing demand for U.S. organic crops.”

Robynn Shrader, CEO for National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), said, “Like many, we are extremely disappointed with [the] announcement and will continue to champion for better protections for organic farmers and consumers, by all means afforded to us.

“Many organizations are encouraging consumers to contact the White House and their state’s legislators with their feedback on USDA’s decision and we encourage all consumers to continue to make their voices heard,” Shrader added. “However, we have also heard some calls for boycotting of organics in protest to USDA’s decision and we’d like to express our passionate objection to this idea.”

San Francisco Summit Calls for Greater Transparency
The North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit drew to a close last week, with many participants calling for greater transparency and accountability from the food industry. Organized by Organic Monitor, the summit brought together about 200 executives at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, CA, January 18-19.

New horizons for eco-labels and sustainability were the focal theme of the two-day summit. The summit explored the evolution of eco-labels—such as organic, fair trade and Rainforest Alliance—in an increasingly global food industry. Some argue that international supply chains are making consumers disconnected from agriculture and food production methods, with eco-labels able to strengthen consumer confidence. Scott Exo, executive director of Food Alliance, echoed the general sentiment at the summit, calling for the ‘de-commoditization’ of food products by providing greater traceability to consumers.

For more information, visit www.sustainablefoodssummit.com.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
AHPA Launches “Did You Know?” Program
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has launched a new initiative to inform and educate its members about current dietary supplements good manufacturing practice (cGMP), which has been implemented by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The AHPA “Did You Know?” program is a Q&A-styled system emailed to AHPA members weekly that provides questions with links to answers and resources relevant to dietary supplements manufacturers on topics such as cGMP applicability and compliance. The program delivers targeted and accurate information that will be of interest to many businesses as well as provide AHPA members with the ability to ask questions of direct interest to their own operations.

“AHPA is the leader in delivering quality information on cGMP to its members and the industry,” said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. “This new ‘Did You Know?’ education program provides personnel at both new and established member businesses an understanding of and the tools to comply with the dietary supplements cGMP.”

To access answers to questions posed in the emails, AHPA members need only create an online login. They will also then gain access to other resources related to the question being posed. As part of the “Did You Know?” program, AHPA created an archive of questions and answers on the “Did You Know?” homepage. A preview of upcoming questions is also available there.

For more information, visit www.ahpa.org.

FDA Releases Reportable Food Registry Report
The first annual Reportable Food Registry Report (RFR) shows that, as Congress intended, the RFR can help the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) track patterns of food and feed adulteration and target FDA’s inspection resources to identify adulterated food/feed and prevent food borne illnesses.

“This report is a measure of our success in receiving early warning on problems with food and feed,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor. “The data in this report represents an important tool for targeting our inspection resources, bringing high-risk commodities into focus, and driving positive change in industry practices—all of which will better protect the public health.”

The RFR is a relatively new system that requires manufacturers, processors, packers and holders (i.e., warehousers, distributors, etc.) of FDA-regulated foods/feeds to quickly report to FDA safety problems that could result in serious health consequences to humans or animals. Reportable food submissions provide early warning to FDA about potential public health risks from reportable foods and increase the speed with which the agency and its partners at the state and local levels can investigate the reports and take appropriate follow-up action, including ensuring that the reportable foods are removed from commerce when necessary.

The report summarizes the Registry’s first year of operation (September 8, 2009 – September 7, 2010) and finds that it logged 229 primary reports—initial reports about a safety concern with a food or animal feed (including food ingredients); 1,872 subsequent reports from suppliers or recipients of a food or feed for which a primary report had been submitted; and 139 amended reports to correct or add information to previously submitted reports. Reports were received from both domestic and foreign sources.

For more information, visit www.fda.gov.

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