VRM, Inc.
HomeVitamin RetailerNatural PractitionerNutrition Industry Executive

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List iconSign up for our Bi-Monthly


Industry News
November 23, 2011

Vitamin Retailer News
NPA Counsel Writes Dietary Supplement Regulations Book

The Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) is publishing Dietary Supplement Regulation: A Comprehensive Guide to serve as a resource to dietary supplement stakeholders. The book was edited by Scott Bass, a partner at Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C., who serves as the chief counsel for the Natural Products Association (NPA).
“The book recognizes that dietary supplements are the new playing field not only for the original marketers of vitamins and minerals, but also today for big pharma and big food,” said Bass. According to Bass, as the dietary ingredient market continues to expand globally, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, major food processors and marketing companies offer more functional food products, herbal and natural-source supplements, this up-to-date resource is all the more critical to the dietary supplement community.
“The Natural Products Association is pleased that the Food and Drug Law Institute has teamed up with Scott Bass and Sidley Austin to offer a powerful new resource for the dietary supplement industry. Scott is a pioneer in the industry whose work on protecting supplement makers from onerous regulations is second to none,” said John Gay, NPA executive director and CEO. “Scott’s deep level of knowledge and experience on dietary supplement regulations is a key asset to helping NPA meet the challenge of any regulatory overreach by the government. This important new guide offers a complete overview of federal regulations, valuable for anyone involved in making and selling dietary supplements.”
FDLI’s Dietary Supplement Regulation: A Comprehensive Guide includes easy-to-understand explanations of key dietary supplement issues, including: regulatory status and formulation; product claims and intended use; dietary supplement marketing and safety; good manufacturing practices, and foreign regulation.

For more information, visit www.fdli.org.

Durbin Calls for Report on FDA Enforcement of Dietary Supplement Safety Law

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) on November 8 sent a letter asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to determine how effectively a system set up by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is protecting consumers from potentially unsafe dietary supplements is working and what steps the agency is taking steps to ensure compliance by dietary supplement manufacturers. The adverse event reporting system was required in bipartisan legislation authored by Durbin and passed by Congress in 2006 that aimed to improve supplement industry transparency and enhance the FDA’s ability to identify and respond more quickly to potential health problems. Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) also signed on to the letter.
“Most products labeled as dietary supplements are legitimate health aids,” said Durbin. “But that is not the case for all of them, and consumers deserve to know that the FDA is looking out for their health and safety by keeping unsafe supplements off the shelves. The FDA has the tools necessary to determine which supplements can cause and have caused severe health problems—they should use them effectively.”
Since 2007, manufacturers, packers and distributors of dietary supplements in the U.S. have been required to report information about serious adverse health events associated with the use of their supplements. According to Durbin, it remains unclear both how the FDA’s reporting system tracks and uses the reports and whether the FDA is taking steps to ensure that manufacturers are complying with reporting requirements.

Organic Products Retailer News
Textile Exchange to Host Sustainable Apparel Workshop

The Textile Exchange will be hosting a Sustainable Apparel Workshop at Arvind Denim Lab SoHo Loft (New York, NY) on March 1, 2012 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The workshop, geared toward brands and retailers, will offer hands-on exercises for a comprehensive working knowledge of sustainability in the entire textile supply chain.

This workshop will provide a deep dive into the key aspects of social and environmental sustainability from design to manufacturing. Seats are intentionally limited in order to provide a hands-on learning environment with interactive discussions. Various exercises will allow attendees to begin implementing alternatives right away into operations through awareness and knowledge, while being primed for future sustainability strategy.  

The main content of the workshop will include:
· Overview on the impacts of the apparel industry, socially and environmentally
· Sustainable materials—detailed descriptions on organic, recycled and cellulosic
· Responsible processing—dyeing and finishing
· Ethical manufacturing
· Product integrity, transparency, certification and labeling

Online registration will open on December 15. For more information, visit http://textileexchange.org/event/sustainable-apparel-workshop-nyc-2012.

Lundberg Family Farms New Offices Meet Green Building Standards

Lundberg Family Farms® recently unveiled it’s new corporate office, which houses the family farming business in Richvale, CA.

The new office was built with energy efficiency and environmental design in mind. “We are committed to sustainable and environmentally responsible farming and business practices, and this building is a further expression of our family’s commitment,” said Grant Lundberg, CEO and a member of the third generation of Lundbergs to operate the business. “In our nearly 75-year history, this is the first time that all of our offices are located under one roof.”

The building boasts a steel-framed construction and is built with a high level of recycled steel. The exterior materials include stucco, reclaimed wood from old barns and shops throughout the North State, and metal. Wood from Founder, Albert Lundberg’s original rice dryer was also utilized to construct tables and benches for conference rooms and the visitor center. The office encompasses 27,658 square feet and offers a naturally lit, open workspace environment to promote collaboration and teamwork, a further expression of the company’s core values. The building is located near the family farm where Lundberg grows and processes much of its market-leading organic rice and rice products.

The new building also pays homage to the company’s rich 75-year history; the 1935 Farmall® Tractor in front of the building is the original tractor that family patriarch Albert Lundberg brought from Nebraska to begin farming in Richvale in the 1930s; the Lundberg Visitors’ Center includes a “story wall” with 40 pictures that cover the early days of the company to present; and a reception desk clad in reclaimed wood and tin from the original dryer that Albert and his sons built in the 1940s.

For more information, call (530) 538-3500 or visit www.lundberg.com.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
AHPA Updates Botanical Authentication Program

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has added star anise (Illicium verum) fruit to AHPA’s Guidance on Known Adulterants, part of its Botanical Authentication Program, with Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum) fruit identified as the known adulterant, effective immediately.
The action follows a vote by the organization’s Board of Trustees at its most recent meeting to help industry confirm the identity of Illicium verum as differentiated from Illicium anisatum.
Created in 1997, AHPA’s Guidance on Known Adulterants identifies herbs and potential adulterants that are known to be in trade. The list identifies safety-related substitutions, such as Digitalis lanata leaf for plantain leaf (Plantago lanceolata), and safety- and economic-based substitutions, such as red dye #2 (amaranth dye) for bilberry fruit extract. The current list of articles of trade and their known adulterants is available on the AHPA website.
Also, as noted in the AHPA Update of November 4 titled “FTC Settles Case Against Marketers of ‘Not Authentic’ Hoodia,” AHPA has made available on its website since 2007 microscopic, high-performance thin-layer chromatographic (HPTLC) and high-performance liquid-chromatographic (HPLC) analytical techniques to differentiate between authentic and inauthentic hoodia.
Under its Botanical Authentication Program, AHPA has developed methods of ingredient identification and analysis for four botanicals, a toxic constituent and a supplement ingredient, including:

  • Aristolochic acid
  • Bilberry fruit extract
  • Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa syn. Cimicifuga racemosa) root /rhizome
  • Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) root
  • Hoodia gordonii stem
  • Glycerin 

“With this latest listing of star anise, AHPA expands its 14-year leadership in the area of identifying adulterants and creating standards for ingredient authentication under the AHPA Botanical Authentication Program,” said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. “With the active participation and input from our membership and the in-depth work of three AHPA committees, we will continue to expand the knowledge base around these most important concerns for the trade.”

For more information, visit www.ahpa.org.

WILD Welcomes European Parliament’s Approval of Stevia

WILD Flavors GmbH (Erlanger, KY) has welcomed the recently announced official EU-wide approval of steviol glycosides in foodstuffs. With its global presence and stake in the stevia manufacturer, Sunwin International, WILD stated it is already prepared for a great demand of the calorie-free sweetener from natural sources.

“Early on, we expected a positive EFSA opinion stating that stevia is a safe ingredient in food, and, therefore, we put all of our efforts into developing our high-quality Sunwin Stevia™ portfolio,” said Michael Ponder, CEO of WILD Flavors GmbH. “Our stake in Sunwin International, one of the leading stevia producers, gives us clear-cut advantages. We are optimally prepared for bulk stevia requests as well as product formulation of low calorie products.”

WILD has developed Taste Optimization Technology that eliminates the characteristic licorice nuance and bitter aftertaste often associated with stevia.

For more information, call (800) WILD-FLAVORS or visit www.wildflavors.com.

VRM, Inc.| 431 Cranbury Road, Suite C | East Brunswick, NJ 08816 | Phone: (732) 432-9600 | Fax: (732) 432-9288