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Industry News
October 12, 2011

Vitamin Retailer News
In Memoriam: Carlson Laboratories Mourns Loss of Co-Founder

Carlson Laboratories (Arlington Heights, IL) was deeply saddened to announce that John Carlson, co-founder and former president, died Saturday, October 1, 2011. Carlson started the company with his wife Susan in 1965 and played an active role in the business through the company’s 45th anniversary in 2010.

During a lifetime of dedication to the dietary supplement industry, Carlson was an active member of many industry organizations, including the Natural Products Association, The National Institute of Nutritional Education and The Mid American Health Organization, and was recognized for his service on many occasions. In 2009, he received the prestigious Nutrition Business Journal Summit Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing him as a pioneer that helped build the natural products industry.

“A giant in the natural products industry, John Carlson will be missed but truly never forgotten,” said Pat Sardell, owner of Country Vitamins (Corvallis, OR).

In addition to his vast contributions to the natural industry, Carlson will be remembered for his warmth, kindness, generosity and integrity. He will be greatly missed by not only his family, including wife Susan and daughters Carilyn and Kirsten, but also the loyal employees of Carlson Laboratories, as well as his large circle of friends and the many members of the natural products industry that came to know him so well.

Donations may be made in his honor to the Natural Products Foundation, 1773 T St. N.W., Washington, DC 20009, www.naturalproductsfoundation.org.

For more information, visit www.carlsonlabs.com.

NPA Selects New ComPLI Committee Chairman

The Natural Products Association (NPA) has announced that Mark LeDoux, founder, chairman and CEO of Natural Alternatives International, Inc. (NAI, San Marcos, CA), has been named chairman of NPA’s Committee for Product and Label Integrity (ComPLI). LeDoux will focus on the development of NPA’s comments for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) draft guidance, as well as oversight of NPA’s self-regulatory programs.

ComPLI advises NPA on scientific and regulatory matters pertaining to the dietary supplement industry and governs the good manufacturing practices (GMP) certification and TruLabel programs. NPA’s GMP certification program is the first third-party GMP certification program for the manufacturing of dietary supplements and ingredients. NPA helps to ensure accuracy, quality and safety in the dietary supplement industry through, a dietary supplement label registration and random-testing program.

"I am honored to be asked to serve in this vital capacity for the NPA as well as the industry at large," said LeDoux. “We need to continue to strengthen our resolve to assure the finest quality of products for the millions of people who have come to rely on our research, science and technology to provide beneficial supplements and products that are beyond reproach. As we work to strengthen the proper role of the federal and state agencies to help us in that objective, we must also be ever mindful that too much regulation can stifle creativity and unnecessarily increase product costs. Since safety remains our predominant concern, we also need to work with the regulatory agencies to help protect our consumers from materials masquerading as healthful products, which can be criminally altered. The goal of the ComPLI committee is to assure that the delicate balance between regulation and innovation remains intact while fostering advances in health for so many in need.”

For more information, visit www.npainfo.org.

Organic Products Retailer News
OTA Launches Organic Trade Resource Guide Website

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has unveiled a new Organic Trade Resource Guide website to help facilitate international trade in organic agricultural products. OTA made the announcement in Seoul, South Korea, during the recent International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) World Congress.

The Organic Trade Resource Guide (www.globalorganictrade.org) will serve as a resource for U.S. companies seeking to learn more about export requirements and organic regulations worldwide. U.S. companies can select the country to which they wish to export and find out if the market is open or if trade barriers exist, what the country’s laws and standards for organic are, who to contact to help in exporting to that country and much more.

“The Organic Trade Resource Guide will be an important and vital tool for U.S. organic companies seeking to begin exporting or expanding their exports of products all over the world,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s executive director and CEO. “Excitement about and interest in organic products continue to build all over the world. Expansion of global trade in U.S. organic products creates high quality jobs in the growing U.S. organic sector.”

The website includes an interactive map showing real-time up to date information on worldwide organic standards and trade arrangements.

For more information, visit www.ota.com.

NHK Laboratories, Inc. Recertified QAI Organic

NHK Laboratories, Inc. (Santa Fe Springs, CA) recently announced that it was recertified by Quality Assurance International (QAI) as an organic processor. QAI conducted a rigorous audit of the company’s facilities, equipment and procedures to ensure compliance with the National Organic Program (NOP) guidelines.

“We first obtained organic certification several years ago and today’s recertification illustrates our continued commitment to complying with the NOP standards,” said M. Amirul Karim, CEO for NHK Laboratories, Inc.

For more information, call (866) NHKLABS or visit www.nhklabs.com.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
Neptune Launches Patent Infringement Litigation, Companies Respond

Neptune Technologies and Bioressources Inc. (Laval, QB, Canada) has announced it has filed complaints in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware alleging infringement of its recently issued patent.   

The action was filed by Neptune for infringement of its recently issued omega-3 composition patent against Aker Biomarine ASA, Aker Biomarine Antarctic USA, Inc. and Schiff Nutritional International. Neptune has launched a separate infringement action against Enzymotec Limited, Enzymotec USA, Inc., Mercola.com Health Resources, LLC and Azantis, Inc.  

“Neptune’s U.S. patent number 8,030,348 is invalid, unenforceable and not infringed,” said Dr. Ariel Katz, Enzymotec’s CEO. “Based on a thorough assessment of the patent by Enzymotec’s professional experts and third-party consultants, we have concluded that there is no basis for the patent claims being asserted against Enzymotec and certain of its customers."

Neptune claims that the U.S. patent is robust and the company will move aggressively to enforce its intellectual rights in relation to our competition, stated President and CEO Henri Harland. “A significant amount of money has been invested by shareholders to develop Neptune’s intellectual property and we will protect the company’s assets. Neptune is the pioneer of this field and intends to justly maintain its leadership.”
Neptune’s recently issued U.S. patent (U.S. No. 8,030,348) covers novel omega-3 fatty acid phospholipid compositions suitable for human consumption, synthetic and/or natural, including compositions extracted from marine and aquatic biomasses. The 8,030,348 patent protects Neptune Krill Oil™ (NKO®) and also covers amongst others, oils and powders extracted from krill, containing marine phospholipids bonded to EPA and/or DHA, distributed and/or sold in the U.S. market.

Aker BioMarine has filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) a request for reexamination of all claims in Neptune’s U.S. Patent Number 8,030,348. Aker BioMarine shows in its request that extractions of krill performed before Neptune’s purported invention produced oils containing these phospholipids, although the USPTO was not previously informed of these facts, was not provided with copies of the relevant publications, and was not informed of proceedings in the European patent office in which Neptune’s related European patent was ruled invalid.

“We regard this as another frivolous lawsuit from Neptune,” said Hallvard Muri, CEO of Aker BioMarine. “This patent grant is the result of mistakes made by both the USPTO and Neptune. Contrary to Neptune’s patent claims, Neptune did not invent a phospholipid composition containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The fact is that these phospholipids occur naturally in krill and a significant amount of prior art was not disclosed in the Neptune application. Before the patent was granted we even sent Neptune a copy of crucial and unconsidered prior art, but despite this they chose not to withdraw the patent application from issue.”

NHRI 6th Annual Scientific Symposium Speakers Announced

Registration is open for the Natural Health Research Institute’s (NHRI) 6th Annual Scientific Symposium to be held October 28, 2011. The focus of the conference this year is “Cutting Health Costs Through Prevention: Measuring the Efficacy, Safety and Cost Savings of Dietary Supplements.” This half-day conference, to be held at the Marriott Renaissance Conference Center and Hotel in Schaumburg, IL, will focus on the current evidence regarding the financial benefits of preventing chronic diseases through the use of natural products such as dietary supplements.

Held in conjunction with the National Healthcare Reform Conference, the symposium is cosponsored by the American Nutrition Association, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote optimal health through nutrition and wellness education.

Speakers include:

  • Mark Blumenthal: Technology and the Safety of Natural Products: Optimizing Disease Prevention Through Clinically Tested Dietary Supplements
  • Meg Jordan, PhD, RN, CWP: Let Sanity Reign: The Undeniable Health-Wealth Connection for a Happier, Healthier Society
  • Artemis P. Simopoulos, MD: Economic and Health Implications of Changing America’s Oil: The Omega-3 Opportunity
  • Russell Jaffe, MD, PhD.: Proactive Primary Prevention Programs: Evidence of Savings Through Application of Supplements to Treat Dietary Deficiencies
  • Len Saputo, MD: National Healthcare Reform: Putting the Pieces of the Puzzle Together

For more information, visit www.naturalhealthresearch.org.

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