May 25, 2011
In response to issues highlighted in a recent New York Times article published on May 14, 2011 titled “Dessert, Laid-Back and Legal,” regarding conventional food products currently on the market labeled and being sold as dietary supplements (specifically cakes and brownies containing melatonin), the Natural Products Association (NPA) and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), issued the following statements.
“The current controversy over certain baked goods claiming to be dietary supplements demands clarity and action,” stated John Gay, executive director and CEO of the NPA. “First, clarity. The Natural Products Association believes the products in question—brownies containing melatonin—are conventional foods falsely labeled as supplements. Simply calling a product a ‘dietary supplement’ does not make it so. There are specific rules for what qualifies as a supplement as opposed to what qualifies as conventional food. Second, action. We urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take quick action on these or any products masquerading as a dietary supplement. In fact, the FDA has taken such action before, and we urge them to do so again.”
“Conventional food products, including cakes and brownies, that are fortified with a dietary ingredient, such as melatonin, are not dietary supplements despite being labeled that way; they are mislabeled conventional foods. A dietary supplement is intended to do just that—supplement the diet,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO of CRN. “Products labeled or marketed as being part of the diet—as a ‘cake’ or ‘brownie’ would be—are conventional foods, not supplements.”
Carlson Laboratories (Arlington Heights, IL) has announced the winners of this year’s end-cap contest, which was themed “Everything Your Heart Desires.” Numerous entrants submitted photos of their creative end-cap displays that highlighted Carlson Heart Month products through the month of February. Here are the results:
First Place (Winners of $500 in Carlson products):
Our Daily Bread (Bryan, OH)
Peggy’s Natural Foods (Stuart, FL)
Second Place (Winners of $250 in Carlson products):
Basic Bulk (Kitchener, ON, Canada)
Debbie’s Health Foods (Port Orange, FL)
Third Place (Winners of $100 in Carlson products):
Herbs ‘n’ More (Carrollton, GA)
Peachtree Natural Foods (Columbus, GA)
The Healthy Gourmet (LeHigh Acres, FL)
For more information, visit www.carlsonlabs.com.
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) recently introduced legislation that would legalize cultivation and processing of industrial hemp. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011 (H.R. 1831), which has 21 original co-sponsors, would amend the Controlled Substances Act by removing industrial hemp from its definition of marijuana.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has endorsed the legislation.
The bill defines industrial hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Industrial hemp has numerous commercial uses. Examples include the use of hemp fiber in the manufacture of clothing, and use of the seed and seed oil in foods and cosmetics. The Hemp Industries Association estimates the total value of annual U.S. sales of hemp products, including foods, soaps and cosmetics, to be around $360 million.
While industrial hemp may contain trace amounts of the psychoactive compounds that naturally occur in high levels in some Cannabis cultivars, it is not considered to be a substitute for marijuana, which is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
“I am aware of only one plant that Americans are forbidden to grow but whose products we are allowed to eat, wear or apply to our skin, and that plant is hemp,” said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. “AHPA members who manufacture and market hemp products want to have the option of buying their ingredients from U.S. farmers, and Rep. Paul’s bill will allow them to do so. Domestic cultivation would also provide an important economic stimulus and source of revenue for American farmers, including small family farms.”
For more information, contact Rachel Mills, Rep. Paul’s press secretary, at email@example.com or visit www.ahpa.org.
Sprouts Farmers Market in Westlake Village is the first in California to achieve platinum certification from the GreenChill Partnership, a voluntary business-government program managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The partnership’s chief goal is to reduce emissions of refrigerants that damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute to global warming.
“Sprouts Farmers Market shares the EPA’s commitment to decreasing refrigerant emissions through innovative refrigeration design and leak tight practices in our existing and future stores,” said Jerry Stutler, vice president of construction and facility engineering for Sprouts. “We are committed to being an environmentally conscious neighbor and grocer.”
Sprouts joined the GreenChill Partnership in 2008, and now has eight EPA-certified stores. Platinum status puts Sprouts of Westlake Village in an elite group among the nation’s 35,000 grocers; there are currently only two other platinum-certified stores, both in the Northeast U.S.
On June 1-2, 2011, EAS Consulting Group (Alexandria, VA) will hold a dietary supplement labeling seminar at its training facility intended to provide all that is necessary to prepare labels that comply with FDA requirements, will address the regulatory requirements for the mandatory labeling elements and will cover allowable dietary supplement claims. Attendees will participate in a workgroup exercise to facilitate their understanding of the regulations. The hardback labeling reference, Dietary Supplement Labeling Compliance Review, will be provided to each attendee that registers for the seminar.
Seminar speakers will include:
James E. Hoadley, PhD, senior consultant. Hoadley’s FDA career, which began in 1987, includes work as a research scientist in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Division of Nutrition, and as a toxicologist in performing food additive and GRAS petition safety reviews in the Office of Premarket Approval. With the passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA), Hoadley participated in the development of NLEA-implementing nutrition labeling and health claim regulations.
Gisela Leon, consultant. For Quality Management Systems in frozen food and ice cream production, Leon’s 20 years of experience has proven her ability to streamline quality specifications. Leon is also well experienced in European food laws, multi-language labeling and legal clearance of package labeling. Additionally, she is versed in U.S. regulatory labeling of food and dietary supplements.
For more information on the event or attending, visit www.easconsultinggroup.com.
Winners of the Third Rosell Probiotic Challenge were recently announced. The challenge was co-organized by Institut Rosell-Lallemand (Montreal, Canada) and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA, Bethesda, MD) Institute.
Winner of the first cash prize was Amber Park, a PhD student from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario Canada, for her insights into the mode of action of probiotics to interact with the brain-gut communication: “The anxiolytic effect of Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 requires vagal integrity for gut-brain communication.”
The second prize winner was Lisa Kish, an MSc student from University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for her study on the interactions of probiotic (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052) with the diet and host genotype, “Effects of probiotics on host immune function and behavior are dependent upon genotype and diet.” Third Prize went to Dr. Sonia Yoon, fellow at University of Rochester, NY, for her study on “Probiotic regulation of vitamin D receptors in intestinal inflammation,” which bears potential in the treatment and prevention of inflammatory bowel diseases.
“We are pleased to participate in this program to encourage and recognize research in the increasingly important area of probiotics and the human microbiome,” said Michael Stolar, PhD, and senior vice president at the AGA Institute.