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Industry News
January 5, 2011

Vitamin Retailer News
Obama Signs Food Safety Bill
President Obama on Tuesday signed a $1.4 billion overhaul of the nation’s food safety system. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety and Modernization Act will help tighten food safety oversight—the law will allow federal regulators to order the recall of unsafe products, require more government inspections at food processing facilities and create stricter standards for imported foods, among other requirements.

The legislation is the largest overhaul of the country’s food safety system since the 1930s. Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s health secretary, called it “the most significant food safety law of the last 100 years,” during a press conference on Monday.

With the cost of $1.4 billion in new funding over five years, some lawmakers are concerned that the revamp is too expensive and threatened its funding. But according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, each year one in six Americans are getting sick, 28,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 people die after eating tainted food. The new law intends to focus on prevention instead of reaction.

“Shifting from a reactive to a preventative mode is something that we are committed to doing,” said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, FDA Commissioner. “The costs of not going forward to put in place this kind of approach are simply unacceptable.”

The bill has drawn praise from the natural products industry. Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, said, “The Food Safety Modernization Act was a demonstration of a thoughtful and bi-partisan approach to crafting meaningful and necessary legislation. Congress has now ensured that FDA will have the additional tools needed to help protect the public health in the area of food safety.”

Terry Lemerond’s Internet Radio Show Debuts
With 40 years of experience in the health food industry, author and educator Terry Lemerond began a weekly internet radio talk show on January 5, 2011. Lemerond has researched and developed more than 300 nutritional and botanical formulations that are among the top-selling products on the market today, including Ginkgo biloba and milk thistle. He is also the author of two books, Seven Keys to Vibrant Health and Seven Keys to Unlimited Personal Achievement, and is the owner and operator of a European-inspired natural food store called Terry Naturally located in Green Bay, WI.

The radio talk show will air Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. EST. To listen live or on demand, visit www.terrytalksnutrition.com.

Organic Products Retailer News
Uncle Matt’s Works to Prevent Crop Damage
Uncle Matt's Organic (Clermont, FL) production team worked round the clock in mid-December to protect more than 1,000 acres of organic citrus crops during an unusual arctic blast that plummeted Central Florida temperatures to the 20s, shattering records across the state.

Initial reports indicated that day one of freezing temperatures caused some damage to the fruit.

“Temperatures were below freezing and got as low as 24 degrees, but the duration was not below 28 degrees for any period long enough to cause substantial damage,” said Matt McLean, CEO and founder of Uncle Matt’s Organic, the oldest organic juice company in the U.S. “However, we did experience some damage in low-lying cold areas.”

To minimize the freeze’s damaging effects, the company’s production team ran micro-irrigation sprinklers mid way through the night and early morning.

Citrus crops typically experience damage when the temperatures drop to 28 degrees or lower for more than four consecutive hours. Florida’s citrus industry produces more than three-quarters of the U.S. orange crop, and accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s orange juice supply.

The team’s efforts, so far, appear to have had a positive effect, according to the company. There are no reports of tree damage and little, if any, leaf damage.

For more information, visit www.unclematts.com.

Survey Finds Parents Buying More Organic Foods
In spite of the sluggish economic recovery, U.S. families continue to buy more organic products than ever before and from a wider variety of categories, according to findings from the latest consumer study jointly sponsored by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and KIWI Magazine. In fact, 41 percent of parents report they are buying more organic foods today than a year ago, up significantly from 31 percent reporting organic purchases in 2009, according to the U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes Beliefs 2010 tracking study.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in where their food comes from and how it is produced. With organic, they have that transparency,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s executive director and CEO. “It is exciting to see parents recognize the importance of organic products to their families.”

The survey, conducted August 11-27, 2010, also found that parents buy organic because they see organic products are generally healthier, address their concern about the effects of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics on children, or provide a means to avoid highly processed foods and/or artificial ingredients.

The study, the second of its kind sponsored by OTA and KIWI Magazine, shows that three-quarters of U.S. families purchase some organic products. Comprising a growing percentage (36 percent versus 32 percent in 2009), newly organic families who have begun purchasing organic products in the past two years represent more than three in 10 U.S. households.

For more information, visit www.ota.com.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
USP Seeks Food Industry Input on New Method
With increasing demand from manufacturers and consumers to reduce the environmental impact of their products and utilize ingredients derived from natural (e.g., plant or animal) sources versus synthetic ones, a new method for determining the bio-based content of food ingredients will be among the latest additions to the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) compendium.

The new method, which also has application in counterfeit detection, will be included as an appendix in the FCC and is currently published in the latest edition of the FCC Forum along with a host of proposed standards that will help assure the quality of popular and emerging ingredients used in functional foods and infant formulas, and as sweeteners and antioxidants.

The FCC Forum is the free-access vehicle through which the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP)—the organization that publishes the FCC—accepts comments on proposed FCC standards. Food manufacturers and all other interested parties are encouraged to provide feedback on the latest proposed standards available on the FCC Forum before they become effective during a 90-day comment period, which closes March 31, 2011.

The new FCC method for bio-based contents is a way to determine the amount of a food ingredient that is derived from renewable carbon sources such as plant- or animal-based versus other raw materials commonly used to produce food additives such as petroleum wax and mineral oil. The method uses carbon isotope signatures, which is the most accurate way to make such quantitative determinations. Results obtained from this new FCC method would allow stakeholders to verify the labeled percentage of a food ingredient that is bio-based—something not commonly done but useful to companies seeking to instill confidence in consumers that may be skeptical of such claims.

Besides this application, the technique can also be used for counterfeit detection. USP intends to expand the FCC appendix on authenticity methods in the future to include additional procedures for detecting counterfeit food ingredients and is encouraging industry to submit useful methods for consideration.

For more information, visit www.usp.org/fcc/fccForum.html

ChromaDex Awarded $500,000 Grant by NSF
ChromaDex Corporation (Irvine, CA), a developer of phytochemical and botanical reference standards and the creation of associated intellectual property, recently announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the company a $500,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant to further the commercial development of several plant-based antioxidants called anthocyanins for use in nutraceutical, food, beverage and cosmetic products. The project, entitled “SBIR Phase II: Microbial Production of Selected Anthocyanins,” will allow ChromaDex to complete validation of AnthoPure™ technology for the manufacturing of anthocyanins via fermentation.

Anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant pigments that contribute to the vivid coloring of berries and are proven to aid in protecting against oxidative stress and control blood glucose levels to assist with weight management and diabetes. They also provide similar benefits to the super-fruit compounds such as resveratrol and its next generation compound, pterostilbene.

“The development of anthocyanins through our AnthoPure technology represents the next stage in our commercialization strategy of new and novel ingredients at ChromaDex,” said Bill Spengler, the company’s president.

The company said it will use the NSF award and its own resources to complete the work necessary to commercialize anthocyanins using its AnthoPure technology.

For more information, visit www.chromadex.com.

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