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Industry News
July 21, 2010

Vitamin Retailer News
NPA: Over 300 Personal Care Products Achieve Natural Certification
The Natural Products Association (NPA) recently announced that more than 300 natural personal care products have been certified through its two-year-old natural standard certification program.

“The demand for natural products continues to grow—even in the face of the recession,” said John Gay, NPA’s executive director and CEO. “Consumers are more concerned about the quality and purity of the products they use every day. We are delighted to provide this important service to those looking for truly natural products, and to retailers and manufacturers who want to fill that need. This program has been so successful, that we recently launched a similar seal for home care products.”

Under NPA’s program, to merit bearing the seal, products must follow strict guidelines set by the association:

• Products must be made up of at least 95 percent natural ingredients, coming from a renewable or plentiful source found in nature (flora, fauna, mineral)
• Non-natural ingredients are allowed only when viable natural alternative ingredients are unavailable and only when there are absolutely no suspected potential human health risks
• Products cannot use animal testing beyond what is required by law, and must use a majority of (bio)degradable and post-consumer recycled content in their packaging

NPA also certifies ingredients as natural. These 100-percent natural ingredients can be used by manufacturers to develop products that are in compliance with the natural standard. Currently, there are 100 certified natural ingredients.

The full criteria, certified products list, certified ingredients list and NPA’s natural certification program for home care products, can be found at www.thenaturalseal.org.

USDA Dietary Guidelines Come Under Fire
The USDA Dietary Guidelines are a leading cause of the American health and obesity crisis, according to scientists, nutritionists and consumers who testified recently at a USDA public hearing on the report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). Dissenters argued that the proposed 2010 revisions to the Dietary Guidelines are worse, will not prevent obesity and will only increase degenerative disease in the US.

Those testifying against the Guidelines focused on the Committee’s misuse of scientific data to justify a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Dr. Jeff Volek, scientist and academic researcher at the University of Connecticut, noted that the DGAC report ignored scientific studies showing the effectiveness of low carbohydrate diets for weight loss.

Four of the dissenters presented the views of the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, a group of nutrition researchers and medical professionals who have studied the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss, insulin regulation and protection against chronic disease. “We expected the new guidelines to recognize current research that vindicates saturated fats as a cause of heart disease and weight gain, and to acknowledge the demonstrated benefits of lower carbohydrate diets,” said Dr. Richard Feinman of Downstate University, New York.

Morton Satin of the Salt Institute sharply criticized the Committee’s recommendation to reduce sodium consumption to 1,500mg per day, explaining that consuming less than 4g of salt daily is a more appropriate recommendation. “No modern society consumes so little salt, making this proposal nothing less than a call for an uncontrolled experiment on more than 300 million Americans,” he said.

In response to the DGAC report, the Nutrition and Metabolism Society recently launched the Committee for a Healthy Nation (CHN). “The CHN is a working coalition of professionals who oppose the low-fat, plant-based thrust of the DGAC report. We feel strongly that the scientific evidence omitted from or misrepresented by their report must be considered in the final outcome,” said Feinman, who challenged the DGAC panel to an open public debate on the scientific evidence underpinning the Guidelines.

Further, Dr. Andrew Shao, senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), expressed concern that dietary supplements are not addressed in the draft to the extent necessary.

“Americans need practical guidance on improving their personal dietary habits and avoiding nutrient shortfalls, including the beneficial and supporting role that vitamin and mineral supplements play in a nutrition program. Unfortunately, the 2010 DGAC Draft Report takes a step backward—without scientific justification—when it comes to vitamin and mineral supplements, by failing to recognize how the multivitamin can address dietary inadequacies for nutrients,” he said.

Organic Products Retailer News
Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Petitions Senate for Legislation
On July 13, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition joined 76 sustainable agriculture and environmental groups from around the nation on a letter delivered to Senate leaders, urging them to pass comprehensive climate change and energy legislation in this session of Congress.

“Agriculture is especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of rapid and unpredictable global climate change,” said Martha Noble, a policy analyst at the Coalition. “Our farmers and ranchers will need federal resources, including conservation technical assistance and research, to cope with and adapt to regional climate changes.”

“Passing comprehensive climate change and energy legislation this year is an essential first step in addressing the wide-ranging climate threats and opportunities facing US agriculture,” said the Coalition in a statement. “It must include measures to increase the use of sustainable and organic farming systems to increase the ability of our nation's agricultural soils to sequester large amounts of carbon. These systems not only improve soil health and lower our overall contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, they can also help farmers adapt to and survive rapid changes in climate.” Further, measures to boost on-farm energy conservation and promote renewable energy production, especially the use of wind and solar power, will allow farmers and ranchers to lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower their energy costs.

“An appropriate combination of comprehensive climate change and energy legislative measures can provide a win-win situation for farmers and ranchers,” said Noble. “Not only will it enable them to better deal with rapid climate change, it can also significantly improve the conservation and economic performance of their farms and ranches.”

Click here to view a copy of the letter to the Senators.

NGCA Announces Co-op Video Contest
This fall, individuals over the age of 18 are invited to submit short videos in the National Cooperative Grocers Association’s (NGCA) My Co-op Rocks Video Contest, a nationwide contest in which food co-op fans share all the reasons their co-op rocks.

Submissions will be accepted online beginning September 1 at www.mycooprocks.coop with prizes to be awarded to the best videos in “People’s Choice” and “Judges’ Choice” categories.

Now in its second year, the My Co-op Rocks Video Contest asks co-op members, shoppers and staff across the country to share their favorite co-op moments, memories and stories online. The contest is hosted by NCGA and sponsored by Equal Exchange and Frontier Natural Products Co-op in celebration of all the qualities and quirks that make co-ops integral parts of communities. Last year’s submissions and contest details can be found at the website.

Individuals can submit and vote on videos September 1-30. Voting will be extended from October 1-15 so individuals can champion their favorites. The public will determine three winners in the “People’s Choice” category based on voting; then, a panel of judges will score entries based on creativity, theme and overall appeal to determine the three winners in the “Judges’ Choice” category. Winners will be announced November 1. In each category, first place winners receive an Apple iPad, second place winners receive a $500 co-op gift card and third place winners receive a co-op customized HD flip cam. The first 50 individuals who submit a video will also receive a free t-shirt.

Each video is only eligible for one prize but individuals may submit as many videos as they like. For the official rules or to enter the contest, visit www.mycooprocks.coop.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
CRN Announces Conference Keynote
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) recently announced that business consultant and New York Times best-selling author Keith McFarland will keynote The Conference, CRN’s annual symposium for the dietary supplement industry. The Conference takes place September 29-October 2, 2010 outside Austin, TX at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa.

McFarland is the founder of McFarland Strategy Partners, a business consultancy that provides strategic advisory services to companies such as Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, House of Blues and Motorola. He also writes a monthly online column for BusinessWeek.

In addition to debuting as No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal list, McFarland’s first book, The Breakthrough Company: How Everyday Companies Become Extraordinary Performers, was also listed on the national best-seller lists of the New York Times, BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He is also the author of the popular Bounce: The Art of Turning Tough Times into Triumph.

Registration for The Conference is now open, and the event will be held directly following The Workshop: CRN’s Day of Science, taking place September 29, 2010. The Conference is open to both CRN member companies and non-members, and potential attendees are encouraged to take advantage of flexible registration options, available here. Visit www.crnusa.org for more information.

AHPA Contributes to Latest NIH Encyclopedia
The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently announced the publication of its Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, 2nd Edition. This new edition contains new chapters on several botanicals, including aloe vera, bilberry, bitter orange, black cohosh, kava and saw palmetto. American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Chief Science Officer Steven Dentali, PhD and Chief Operations Officer Devon Powell contributed as co-authors of the aloe vera chapter.

Peer reviewed by experts, chapters include information such as ingredient reviews, including the latest data, its chemistry and functions, pre-clinical and clinical literature, regulatory status and references to relevant literature. “AHPA is proud to have contributed to this project,” said Dentali. “Having clear and consistent information on botanicals in an authoritative publication such as this will greatly benefit the industry”.

The title is available now from Informa Healthcare Books.

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