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Industry News
September 1, 2011

Vitamin Retailer News
Upton to Receive ASP Award

The American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) recently announced the selection of Roy Upton, RH, DAy, as the 2012 winner of the Varro. E. Tyler award. The award is scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting to be held July 28-August 1, 2012 in NewYork City.

Named after the late Varro E. Tyler, PhD, ScD, former dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, vice president of Academic Affairs at Purdue University, and first president of ASP, the award recognizes outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of herbal medicine. According to the ASP nominating committee, “Roy Upton exemplifies the standards and principles that Varro Tyler sought to bring to the botanicals industry.”

Upton has been working and practicing professionally as an herbalist since 1981. Trained in ayurvedic, Chinese and Western herbal medicine, Upton is the founder, executive director and editor of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP); is a co-founder, past president and vice president of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG); and serves on the Committee of Revision for the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and botanical expert advisory committees of AOAC International, the American Botanical Council (ABC) and NSF International. Upton is also visiting faculty for the Master of Science in Herbal Medicine program at Tai Sophia, Laurel, MD and the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program at the University of Southern California, School of Pharmacy, Los Angeles, CA.

Upton is the staff herbalist for the California-based herbal supplements company, Planetary Herbals; is a member of the Standards Committee of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA); and is an internationally recognized lecturer and author of numerous popular and peer-reviewed scientific publications, including the recently published Microscopic Characterizations of Botanical Medicines.

“Roy recognized a need that no one else had seen,” said Michael McGuffin, president of AHPA and longtime AHP board member. “AHP filled a void where there once was nothing.”

GNC to Acquire LuckyVitamin.com

GNC Holdings, Inc. has announced it has agreed to acquire LuckyVitamin.com. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, following the acquisition, GNC.com, GNC’s e-Commerce platform, and LuckyVitamin.com will continue to operate as separate businesses, each with its own product offerings and target customers.

“LuckyVitamin.com is a true internet pioneer in the health and wellness industry and has built a strong online brand and business as a discount retailer,” said Joe Fortunato, president and CEO of GNC. “LuckyVitamin.com creates a perfect opportunity for GNC to leverage our existing capabilities, provides synergies to strengthen the competitive position of LuckyVitamin.com and gain market share in the fast-growing discount e-Commerce channel. The addition of the LuckyVitamin.com platform greatly expands our reach and growth opportunities in the e-Commerce channel while broadening our customer demographics and product offerings online.”

“Having GNC as a parent company represents an important step in LuckyVitamin.com’s evolution as a major online retailer of more than 30,000 quality national brand products,” said Sam Wolf, CEO of LuckyVitamin.com. “Leveraging GNC’s critical mass in manufacturing, distribution, purchasing power and product development will be valuable tools as we continue to develop the business and realize the expanded growth prospects it presents.”

For more information, visit www.gnc.com or www.luckyvitamin.com.

Organic Products Retailer News
Website Launched for Non-GMO Month

As the second annual Non-GMO Month approaches this October, a new website, www.nongmomonth.org, helps coordinate the burgeoning movement by encouraging the public to celebrate their right to choose non-GMO. The site features an open interface that allows users to create and participate in non-GMO events during the month of October.

Founded by the Non-GMO Project in 2010, Non-GMO Month offers a focused platform for groups and individuals working to protect non-GMO food and consumer choice. Last year, nearly 600 natural foods retailers participated in Non-GMO Month by hosting events, distributing educational materials, and featuring Non-GMO Project Verified products on their shelves. This year, the celebration is expanding beyond store walls with a Right2Know March from New York City to Washington, D.C., and grassroots gatherings across the country.

“Americans want out of the GMO experiment,” said Megan Westgate, Non-GMO Project executive director. “People in Europe and other developed nations don’t eat GMOs or feed them to their families, and we shouldn’t have to either. Non-GMO Month is about celebrating our right to safe, healthy, non-GMO food, and nongmomonth.org is a great tool for helping us come together.”

In addition to an events calendar, the new website includes a listing of retailers participating in Non-GMO Month and a daily giveaway calendar where visitors can win prizes throughout October.

For more information, visit www.nongmomonth.org.

Horizon Organic Grants Annual Awards to Family Farmers

Horizon Organic® (Broomfield, CO) recently announced the family farmer recipients of two annual awards: the HOPE Award, which honors farmers who advocate organic agriculture; and the Quality Award, which recognizes the Horizon farmer who produces the highest quality organic milk in the entire Horizon milk supply.

The Hardy family of Farmington, ME, received the 2011 Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Award, while the Sheen family of Gouverneur, NY, was recognized with the 2011 National Quality Award, during Farm Aid’s annual benefit concert at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS.

“For the past 20 years, our farmers have been the heart of Horizon Organic,” said Mike Ferry, Horizon Organic president. “The HOPE and National Quality Awards give us an opportunity to recognize the impact our farmers make – not only in their local communities as advocates for organic agriculture but also with the families nationwide who choose Horizon Organic because we offer the highest quality and best tasting organic dairy products available. We’re proud to honor the Hardy and Sheen families for their ongoing commitment not only to Horizon but also the entire organic movement.”

For more information, visit www.horizondairy.com.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
AHPA Announces NDI Congress

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) will be holding the “AHPA Congress on New Dietary Ingredients (NDIs): Crafting an Industry Response & Filing Successful Notifications,” a one-day intensive to help herbal and dietary supplement companies take the next step in responding to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) draft guidance on NDIs and to develop and submit NDI notifications for numerous product categories.

This interactive educational gathering will take place Thursday, September 8, 2011, from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., at the Mesirow Financial corporate headquarters in downtown Chicago, IL.

“Based on member and industry feedback, there are still numerous questions about FDA’s NDI guidance and the industry comment process,” said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. “Additionally, there is a clear need for hands-on instruction on how to file NDI notifications. This AHPA event will fill these information voids to benefit the entire industry.”

The AHPA Congress on NDIs is geared to all companies that rely on new products and product innovation and whose products fall under the regulatory framework created by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

For more information, visit www.ahpa.org.

Kaneka Dismisses ZMC Lawsuit

Kaneka Corporation (Osaka, Japan) has voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit originally filed in federal court in Los Angeles against ZMC-USA LLC (The Woodlands, TX) and Zhejiang Medicine Co. Ltd. (Chengguan, Xinchang, Zhejiang), alleging infringement of Kaneka’s recently issued patent on a process for making oxidized CoQ10.

Those claims were transferred to Houston, TX, where on August 22, 2011, during a conference before a Federal Judge, Kaneka’s counsel admitted that they did not know what process ZMC is using to make CoQ10. The judge then ordered Kaneka to withdraw letters it sent previously to ZMC’s customers and other members of the trade alleging that ZMC is infringing on its patent, describing the letters as “deceptive” and setting a timetable for their withdrawal. When Kaneka failed to comply with the court’s order, the court in Houston ordered Kaneka to appear on August 26 and show cause why it should not be held in contempt for violating the court’s order. Less than 24 hours before that hearing was to take place, Kaneka filed a notice dismissing all causes of action in the complaint against ZMC-USA and Zhejiang Medicine Co.

Scott Steinford, president of ZMC-USA, commented, “We are pleased that Kaneka dismissed its lawsuit. We look forward to a prompt resolution of this dispute in the remaining lawsuit which was originally initiated by ZMC / ZMC-USA in Houston.”

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