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Industry News
June 22, 2011

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Vitamin Retailer News
Supplement Companies Support Joplin Tornado Relief

The tornado that struck in Joplin, MO on May 22, claimed the lives of over 130 people and nearly demolished the area. Now, Carlson Laboratories (Arlington Heights, IL) and elete Electrolytes™ (South Ogden, UT) have joined tornado relief efforts.

Carlson Laboratories announced the donation of approximately 200 bottles of fish oil to support tornado relief in Joplin. The donation will go to retail store Suzanne’s Natural Foods in Joplin, where staff have been providing free meals for local residents who have been affected by the natural disaster. “Our hearts go out to those affected by this tragedy, and we want to help in any way we can,” said Carilyn Anderson, president of Carlson Laboratories.

On June 3, elete Electrolytes shipped a product donation of its elete Electrolyte Add-In™ through Nourish America, a non-profit organization that provides nourishing foods and supplements to people in need in the U.S. Nourish America has established a disaster relief site just outside of Joplin in Seneca, MO. Further, United Parcel Service (UPS) participated in the relief effort by generously waiving its shipping costs, which totaled close to $500.

elete donated its original elete Electrolyte Add-In formula, which is a pure electrolyte concentrate that can be used to make electrolyte water or a customized sports drink, in the following quantities: 35,000 10ml rip packs, 5,500 6.45ml rip packs and 219 8-oz. bottles.

“We are pleased to have the chance to demonstrate our care and concern for the people of Missouri through Nourish America,” said Val John Anderson, executive vice president and director of sales and marketing for elete. “Disaster clean up in the hardest hit areas will require hard work in hot, humid conditions, and we are pleased to keep these individuals hydrated and functioning in peak condition.”

For more information, visit www.carlsonlabs.com or www.eletewater.com.

Bland Receives Linus Pauling Award

Jeffrey Bland, PhD, FACN, FACB, was honored with the Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award at The Institute for Functional Medicine’s 2011 International Symposium, held April 28–30 in Bellevue, WA. He and his wife, Susan Bland, founded the Institute 20 years ago. Bland is the chief science officer for Metagenics, Inc. (San Clemente, CA), a nutrigenomics and lifestyle medicine company dedicated to reducing chronic illness and improving health.
 
Considered the “Father of Functional Medicine,” Bland received the award for his “vision, brilliance and leadership that have inspired a worldwide community of clinicians, scientists and educators to transform clinical practice and educational curricula.” With a PhD in biochemistry, Bland became a prominent educator for the natural foods Industry, served as president of the Northwest Academy of Preventive Medicine, and helped establish Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences in the Northwest.

In 1981, he was invited by two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling to become the Director of Nutritional Supplement Analysis at the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto, CA. In 1984, he introduced the concept of using foods to create biochemical change, and started HealthComm, Inc. to educate physicians and other licensed health care providers. Bland and his wife established The Institute for Functional Medicine in 1991 to educate clinicians about functional medicine. In 1993, he established the Natural Products Quality Assurance Alliance to develop the quality assurance document for the industry.

Bland’s publications include four books on nutrition and health for the general public and six books for health professionals, including The Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. In addition, he is the principal author of more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers on nutritional biochemistry.

For more information, visit www.metagenics.com or www.functionalmedicine.org.

Organic Products Retailer News
USDA Pesticide Data Show Differences in Produce Residue Levels

Consumers wishing to avoid pesticide residues in food, water and on farms have a simple choice: choose organic products, said the Organic Trade Association (OTA).

The annual Pesticide Data Program (PDP) summary recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Marketing Service supports the OTA’s statement. The data shows significant differences in pesticide residue levels measured on organic fruits and vegetables compared with their chemically grown counterparts. Organic fruits and vegetables, on a whole, have far fewer levels of pesticide residues than conventionally grown produce.

“Organic production is the only system that uses third-party inspection and certification to verify that no toxic and persistent pesticides or synthetic fertilizers have been used,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s executive director and CEO.

While the entire organic sector is growing at more than eight percent, organic fruits and vegetables are the fastest-growing category of U.S. organic products, growing by 11.8 percent in 2010 to reach nearly $10.6 billion. Organic represents nearly 12 percent of all U.S. fruit and vegetable purchased. Data collected by USDA’s Economic Research Service show that although organic cropland and pasture accounted for only about 0.6 percent of U.S. total farmland in 2008, this percentage was far surpassed by organic carrots, representing 13 percent of U.S. carrot acreage, and organic apples, representing five percent of U.S. apple acreage.

“We want to make sure consumers know of the availability and abundance of fresh organic produce, especially going into the summer season. There is no shortage of nutritious, tasty, safe and affordable organic produce for families across the nation,” Bushway said.

In addition to not allowing the use of toxic and persistent pesticides when growing organic fruits and vegetables, organic producers also must comply with U.S. food safety and other food regulations as well as the exacting standards of USDA’s National Organic Program. Recently, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged that organic food is no more susceptible to food-borne pathogens than conventional produce.

For more information, visit www.ota.com.

Frontier Natural Products Helps Build Organic Training Center

On a recent sourcing trip, Kai Stark, purchasing manager for Frontier Natural Products Co-op™ (Norway, IA), saw firsthand the results of a $25,000 Frontier donation to an organic training center for the Small Organic Farmers Association (SOFA) in Sri Lanka.

Completed in late 2010, the center has already conducted more than a dozen training classes, educating more than 120 farmers on sustainable cropping techniques such as composting, erosion control, rain harvesting and natural pest management. SOFA, a 2,043-member cooperative of small-scale, organic farmers, is Frontier’s latest Well Earth™ partner.

During 2010, SOFA earned a total of $150,000 in Fair Trade social premiums. For communities where farmers typically earn $900 to $1,200 annually, these premiums have funded scholarships and education programs, as well as the construction of clean water sources, schools and a vast array of other beneficial community projects.

“Working with these farmers has been an exciting development in our Well Earth sustainable and ethical sourcing program,” said Stark. “By helping to provide training on organic and sustainable agriculture practices, we are enabling the farmers to more efficiently and effectively grow their crops and to increase their incomes.”

Working directly with small farmers like those in Sri Lanka allows Frontier to expand the number of top-quality organic herbs, spices and teas that are grown in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. As a co-op owned by the businesses that buy from it, Frontier exemplifies the values of its member/owners—quality products, reliable information, a family-friendly workplace, and environmentally and socially responsible business practices—the values at the core of what is now widely recognized as sustainability.

 For more information, visit www.frontiercoop.com.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
FDA Unveils Safety Strategy for Imported Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has unveiled a new strategy to meet the challenges posed by rapidly rising imports of FDA-regulated products and a complex global supply chain in a report called the “Pathway to Global Product Safety and Quality.”

The FDA report calls for the agency to transform the way it conducts business and to act globally in order to promote and protect the health of U.S. consumers. Highlights of the report include four key elements needed to make the change:

  1. The FDA will partner with its counterparts worldwide to create global coalitions of regulators focused on ensuring and improving global product safety and quality.
  2. The coalitions of regulators will develop international data information systems and networks and increase the regular and proactive sharing of data and regulatory resources across world markets.
  3. The FDA will build in additional information gathering and analysis capabilities with an increased focus on risk analytics and information technology.
  4. The FDA increasingly will leverage the efforts of public and private third parties and industry and allocate FDA resources based on risk.

“FDA regulated imports have quadrupled since 2000,” said Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, MD. “The FDA and our global regulatory partners recognize this new reality and realize we must work proactively and collaboratively to address the challenges we face. The FDA must further collaborate and leverage in order to close the gap between our import levels and our regulatory resources. This report is an important step in ensuring we are able to fulfill our critical public health mission.”

The new strategy builds on changes already set in motion by the FDA. The FDA increased the number of foreign drug manufacturing inspections by 27 percent between 2007 and 2009, and has opened a series of international offices in key locations. It has also collaborated with its counterparts in the European Union and Australia on drug inspections, worked to harmonize certain aspects of drug regulation via the International Conference on Harmonization, and joined the Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation/Scheme (PIC/S), which is an organization of the drug-manufacturing inspectorates from 39 countries. 

For more information, visit www.fda.gov.

NPA Hosts Webinar on Upcoming NDI Guidance

The Natural Products Association (NPA) will host a webinar conference call, “NDI Guidance: What You Need to Know,” for the natural products industry on Friday, July 8 at 2 p.m. EST. The webinar will cover the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance on new dietary ingredients (NDI), set for release on July 5. Speakers will include Dr. Daniel Fabricant, director of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN); Scott Bass, head of the Global Life Sciences Team at Sidley Austin LLP; Dr. Cara Welch, NPA vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs; and John Gay, NPA executive director and CEO.
 
FDA’s long-awaited release of the NDI guidance is of vital importance to the industry. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), firms are required to notify FDA if they intend to market a dietary supplement in the U.S. that contains a “new dietary ingredient”—defined as one that has not been marketed in the U.S. dietary supplements market before October 15, 1994—and demonstrate that it is safe. Dietary ingredients used in dietary supplements before this date were “grandfathered in.”
 
The speakers plan to discuss how the guidance clarifies when a premarket safety notification is necessary and what information is expected for new dietary ingredient notifications. A question and answer portion of the webinar will allow registrants to ask questions of the experts. NPA will offer a CD-ROM of the webinar, PowerPoint slides and text of the NDI guidance for sale following the event.
 
For more information, visit www.npainfo.org.

 

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