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Industry News
March 29, 2010

Vitamin Retailer News
FDA Warns Consumers to Stop Using Soladek Vitamin Solution
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers to stop using Soladek, a vitamin-solution product marketed by Indo Pharma, S.A., of the Dominican Republic, because the product may contain dangerously high levels of vitamins A and D.

Soladek is marketed with claims that the product treats “hypo and avitaminosis, rickets, growth, dentition, lactation, fractures, infection, convalescence, protection and regeneration of certain epithelium (bronchial, glandular, ocular, cutaneous), corticotherapy, aging and pregnancy.” The product is sold in a box labeled in Spanish and containing a vial of the solution.

The FDA recently received information that tested samples of Soladek contained levels of vitamin A and vitamin D that were many times the recommended daily allowances for these vitamins. Intake of excessively high levels of these vitamins poses a risk to human health.

The FDA also received seven reports of serious health problems occurring in consumers using the product. The problems include decreased renal function, elevated levels of calcium in the blood, fatigue, heart arrhythmia, vomiting and diarrhea.

Retailers advising any consumers who have been experiencing any of the above symptoms and have been using Soladek should instruct them to see a doctor immediately, and caution consumers in possession of Soladek to stop using the product immediately.

Soladek cannot currently be marketed legally in the United States because U.S. law prohibits the sale of products claiming to treat disease conditions without review and approval by the FDA. However, the reports of adverse events and other information leads the FDA to conclude that Soladek may be available illegally in the country; therefore, the agency is issuing this warning.

For more information, visit www.fda.gov.

Topricin Earns Patent
Topricin® Pain Relief and Healing Cream, made by Topical BioMedics, Inc. (Rhinebeck, NY), has been awarded a patent as a topical treatment of neuropathy. An FDA-regulated homeopathic biomedicine, Topricin also received a patent for the treatment of pain, associated with fibromyalgia in spring 2010.

“Topricin has proven to be effective in resolving pain issues for individuals suffering from neuropathy, with many reporting that it has helped to reduce or eliminate their dependency on oral pain medications,” said Lou Paradise, president of Topical BioMedics and product formulator. “This is a ground-breaking advancement, as the medical community has struggled for years to find viable treatment options for patients with nerve-related pain. With no other options at hand, they have had to rely on the pharmaceutical community, whose chemical-based drugs prove ineffective and compromise the health of the patient by causing more harm then good due to the serious side effects they pose. Chemical compounds/drugs attempt to treat the symptoms and not the cause of the problem, and as a result cannot provide the relief that people suffering with neuropathic pain seek.”

For more information, visit www.topricin.com.

Organic Products Retailer News
Second Hemp History Week Event
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Vote Hemp are holding the second Annual Hemp History Week May 2-8, 2011. As a national grassroots education campaign designed to renew strong support for hemp farming in the U.S., Hemp History Week will feature events in cities and towns all over the country. The campaign will also feature a day of action and an online petition drive to encourage the Obama administration and Congress to change federal policy and allow American farmers to once again grow industrial hemp.

“During a time of economic distress, we need to be encouraging American enterprise and American job creation. It simply doesn’t make sense to restrict a viable industry because of unfounded fears,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “There are many success stories in my district about companies who use or sell hemp products, and I don’t believe we should be limiting their potential. The Hemp History Week campaign is a great opportunity to educate other elected officials and the American public about the tremendous benefits that the ability to grow hemp in America will bring.”

The 2011 campaign will promote the theme of “Hemp for Health and Sustainability” and has attracted endorsements from Dr. Andrew Weil, actress and author Alicia Silverstone, TV personality and consumer advocate Phil Lempert, registered dietitian Ashley Koff, Ironman triathlete and nutrition expert Brendan Brazier and holistic health counselor Alexandra Jamieson. This year’s effort seeks to build on the inaugural campaign held in May of last year, which mobilized supporters of hemp farming nationwide, including hundreds of volunteers who organized around 200 events in 32 states, and generated tens of thousands of letters and postcards to the President and Attorney General in support of hemp farming. Volunteers are being called upon once again to organize events in 2011, with specific details about those planned events to be announced in early April.

For more information, visit www.hemphistoryweek.com.

U.S.’s Only Organic Tulip Festival Springs Into Color
EcoTulips (Brightwood, VA), the only supplier of organic tulips in the U.S., is hosting its second annual Organic Tulip Festival at its farm April 2-17, 2011 in partnership with DuCard Vineyard and Brightwood Vineyard and Farm, also located in Brightwood, VA.

This year’s organic tulip festival, the only one of its kind in the U.S., will include wine tastings, farm tours and “Koppie Doen” (or “Tulip Talks”) with “Tulip Man” Jeroen Koeman, co-founder with wife Keriann of EcoTulips, LLC.

Visitors may pick their own organic tulips for $1-2 a stem from EcoTulips’ 10,000-square-foot organic garden while tiptoeing among 20 varieties of more than 60,000 tulips. They are also welcome to stroll through the beautiful inspiration garden (full of organic tulips as well as organic daffodils, crocuses and grape hyacinths), have a picnic, and enjoy wine and organic foods from local vendors.

For more information, visit www.ecotulips.com.
Nutrition Industry Executive News
Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Creates Industry Concern
The 8.9-scale earthquake and tsunami in Japan has left people across the world devastated. The added news about the Japanese nuclear power plant crisis that began March 17, 2011, has sent fearful consumers in the U.S. on a search for radiation-fighting supplements, leaving natural food stores in many states sold out of supplements such as iodine and potassium iodide, and green foods products such as kelp.

Terry Lemerond, founder and president of EuroPharma, Inc. (Green Bay, WI) and owner of the natural food store Terry Naturally, said he has seen surging sales of iodine supplements since the Japanese disasters. “Iodine is in great demand because of people’s fear of radioactive contamination.”

Natural Grocers in Longmont, CO, sold out of all its kelp and much of its green foods supplements. Similarly, a Whole Foods Market in California’s Bay Area reported selling out of its kelp supplements.

This comes despite the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that its RadNet system has not detected any radiation levels of concern. The U.S. Department of Energy, which has radiation monitoring equipment at research facilities around the country, has also not detected any radiation levels of concern.

However, “anti-radiation” supplement sales have not gone unnoticed by government officials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers to be wary of supplements and other products sold online and in retail stores that claim to treat or prevent the effects of radiation but are not FDA-approved for that purpose.

The FDA didn’t specify which products might be making false claims. “These fraudulent products come in all varieties and could include dietary supplements, food items or products purporting to be drugs, devices or vaccines,” the FDA said.

In a message issued to Natural Product Association (NPA) members regarding the demand for potassium iodide, John Gay, executive director and CEO, stated, “Health officials have raised concerns about consumers taking improper dosages of potassium iodide. They recommend consultation with a health professional before taking potassium iodide at levels higher than the RDA.”

Natural product suppliers and manufacturers with ties to Japan have issued statements regarding the disasters. Wakunaga of America, which farms garlic and other materials to manufacture herbal supplements in particular, has a new 53,000-square-foot facility in Mira Loma, CA as well as operations in Tokyo and Hiroshima, Japan. When asked if the earthquake and tsunami have affected the company, the company’s spokesman Albert Dahbour said, “So far no ... but transportation across Japan is in a bad situation. This may disrupt supply/distribution, employee transportation, etc. Also, phone lines were down ... so it’s hard to get all the info.”

Fuji Health Science, Inc. (Burlington, NJ) assured its customers in all industries that the production facilities of its parent company, Fuji Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. of Japan were not in danger and did not sustain any damage due to the catastrophe. Fuji’s headquarters and production facilities are located in Toyama Prefecture, which is in a different area of Japan on the western side of the central mountain range unaffected by the current quake and resulting disaster.

ConcenTrace Receives GRAS Status
ConcenTrace®, Trace Minerals Research’s (TMR, Ogden, UT) concentrated complex of over 72 ionic trace minerals from the Great Salt Lake, has been self-affirmed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in food and beverages. According to FDA regulations, the process involved an intensive review by an independent panel of experts, qualified by training and experience to evaluate the safety of food ingredients.

To affirm ConcenTrace’s GRAS status, TMR sought out an expert panel from AIBMR Life Sciences Inc. (Puyallup, WA) because of its experience, knowledge and expertise with GRAS self-affirmations. The expert panel included physicians and two PhD toxicologists with 83 years combined experience in toxicology, who also worked as division heads for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Achieving GRAS status for ConcenTrace is major step for our company,” said Scott Perkes, managing partner of TMR. “Now that ConcenTrace is GRAS, not only can current and potential consumers of ConcenTrace be even more confident in its safety as a dietary supplement, but food and beverage companies who are looking to fortify their products with a water-soluble complex of over 72 ionic trace minerals can now do so with that same confidence.”

For more information, visit www.traceminerals.com.

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