Administration imposes sweeping limits on federal actions against companies
New York Times
The Trump administration has adopted new limits on the use of “guidance documents” that federal agencies have issued on almost every conceivable subject—including for dietary supplements—an action that could have sweeping implications for the government’s ability to sue companies accused of violations. Guidance documents offer the government’s interpretation of laws, and often when individuals or companies face accusations of legal violations, what they have really violated are the guidance documents. Read more→
Early-bird discount for the 10th Annual UNPA Members' Retreat extended to Feb. 23NEW! $100 registration savings for the 10th Annual UNPA Members' Retreat, to be held in Park City/Deer Valley, Utah, May 8-10, end Feb. 23. Plan to join us for this year's meeting, with a focus on the business of dietary supplements.
Why attend UNPA's FSVP training?
See this short video by UNPA's Larisa Pavlick, who will lead the training, Feb. 28-March 1, in Sandy, Utah. Only 12 seats remaining!
UNPA announces two PCQI trainingsNEW! UNPA has scheduled two new Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) trainings for April 10-12 in Phoenix and June 5-7 in Lehi, Utah. Registration is now open for both training sessions, which meet FDA's PCQI training requirements. Learn who must comply, course agenda and additional information at the UNPA website.
UNPA announces publication of UNPA Asia ReportNEW! UNPA announces the publication of the new UNPA Asia Report, a special section inside of Asiaceutical Insights, published in China by Herbridge Media.
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GNC’s partnership with Chinese company could boost company, open marketHarbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co., which operates under the name Hayao, has formed a joint venture with GNC to manufacture, market, sell and distribute GNC-branded products in China. The Chinese pharmaceutical company will also invest $300 million in the struggling retail chain and become its largest single shareholder.New ownership to help EPAX secure supply speed innovation, executive saysAfter a journey through various forms of corporate ownership, omega-3 supplier EPAX has come full circle, landing with a company that understands fishing and the business of extracting ingredients from fish.FINANCIALS
USANA Health Sciences earnings rise in Q4USANA Health Sciences revealed a profit for its 4Q that rose compared to the same period last year. The company said its bottom line totaled $26.94 million, or $1.11 per share. The company passed $1 billion in annual sales in 2017, with revenues of $1.05 billion.REGULATORY
Clear definition and new regulatory framework, the way forward for nutraceuticalsThe lack of a clear shared definition of nutraceuticals risks them remaining in the grey area between food and pharmaceuticals and failing to reach their potential as a therapeutic tool, suggests a new review in the British Journal of Pharmacology.PARTNERSHIPS
Lonza launches venture capital fund to invest in consumer health and wellness startupsLonza has partnered with Prolog Ventures in launching a venture capital fund to back emerging consumer-health companies in North America. The fund will focus on products, technologies and innovative business models related to fast-moving consumer goods markets, such as personal care, functional food and beverages, medical food and dietary supplements.Nestlé and Nutritas announce collaboration on artificial intelligence-based discovery of food-derived bioactive peptideThe Swiss food and beverage giant and the Dublin-based biotech company will work together on discovering bioactive peptide networks in target high-value areas.
FDA weaponizes 'opioid' label against kratom consumersFDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s recent statement heightening the agency’s warning to consumers and health care professionals about the safety of kratom, and declaring that it has opioid properties, may just escalate the situation. The compound is now at the center of an acrimonious battle on social media, in federal agencies and at all levels of government— a fight over whether kratom could help curb the nation’s opioid epidemic or make it dramatically worse. In response to the FDA statement, scientists warn Trump that the agency’s war on the plant could worsen the opioid crisis.LEGAL
Supplement company CEO arrested, faces possible probation, revocationThe chief executive of Enhanced Athlete Inc., a sports supplement company under investigation by FDA, could go to prison for allegedly violating the terms of his supervised release following a criminal conviction in 2014. Scott Cavell faces up to two years in prison, if his supervised probation is revoked.GLOBAL REGULATORY
Netherlands to set upper limits on supplement vitamin contentThe Netherlands has sent notification to the EU that it intends to formalize maximum levels of vitamins D, A and B6 allowed in food supplements.EFSA ruling highlights high infant exposure to tea and herbal metaboliteThe European Food Safety Authority has identified a potential concern for toddlers and their exposure to tropane alkaloids that are found in tea and herbal infusions.Austrian health agency warns against consumption of high-dose supplementsA product warning on supplements containing high doses of zinc and vitamin B6 was issued this week by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety GmbH.ORGANIC
Bipartisan organic research funding bill introduced in SenateSens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bob Casey, D-Pa., have joined together to introduce the Organic Agriculture Research Act in the Senate.The bill will renew the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, USDA’s flagship organic research program, and increase the funding annually over the life of the next Farm Bill.
Organic delivers greater environmental benefits to plant-based dietsA study of more than 34,000 people has found that diets higher in vegetables are better for the planet than animal-based ones, but it also flagged that organic product systems have significant environmental benefits for plant-based diets.OBITUARY
A loss to the profession: Ed Alstat, ND, RPHThe integrative medicine community is mourning the loss of one of its pioneers, Edward Alstat, N.D., RPH, whose life was tragically cut short in an auto accident near his home in Sandy, Ore. For nearly 40 years, Alstat devoted his life to the development and advancement of botanical medicine, supporting advanced farming techniques in herb production and helping to spread the gospel of botanical medicine.MEDIA WATCH
Industry groups cite flaws in JAMA Cardiology paper downplaying omega-3s cardiovascular benefitsDietary supplement groups have heavily criticized a new meta-analysis in JAMA Cardiology, which concludes that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation had no significant impact on fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease or any major vascular events.APAC MARKET
Probiotics are on the verge of exploding in China: Recent conference shows vast potential of market in its infancyGrowth in probiotics is outstripping all other categories in the U.S., but on the other side of the world the market is only just beginning to develop.
Kiwi exports boom as Chinese consumers seek TCM ingredients from overseasAn increasing number of Chinese consumers are developing a taste for TCM ingredients and products from overseas, with New Zealand firms, in particular, enjoying an export boom.Understanding WeChat is critical to success in Chinese e-commerceExporters of dietary supplements into China need to be familiar with that country’s dominant WeChat social media platform if they want to thrive, accordingto Jeff Crowther, executive director of the U.S.-China Health Products Association.
Ismail implores omega-3 industry to show leadership in supporting science, consumer researchIn his final address to the omega-3 sector as a whole, outgoing GOED Executive Director Adam Ismail said the industry has unlimited potential, which it can reach only if it bands together to control its message and support the ingredients’ health benefits.Ismail: Critics cannot dismiss the totality of evidence for omega-3s with a single trialThe next few years could be a turbulent time for the omega-3 industry, with results of several very large randomized trials soon to be published, but regardless of the results, the totality of evidence stills supports significant benefits from omega-3 consumption, said Adam Ismail, outgoing Executive Director of GOED, in this video.Does omega-3s' bioavailability really matter?Bioavailability advances in the omega-3 sphereare prone to over-interpretation, according to lipids chemistry expert Philip Calder, Ph.D., of the University of Southampton, U.K. What really matters, he said at the recent GOED Exchange, is if the chemical changes to base ingredients actually boost the ultimate uptake of EPA and DHA.UNPA MEMBER NEWS
Applied Food Sciences gains Non-GMO Project verification for caffeine ingredientsApplied Food Sciences has taken another step in demonstrating transparency by getting four of its core ingredients Non-GMO Project Verified. The company’s PurCaf organic caffeine tops a list of sustainably sourced offerings: PurCaf Organic Caffeine—a 95-percent caffeine extract from organic green coffee beans; PurTea Organic Caffeine—a 90-percent caffeine extract from organic green tea leaves; JAVA.g—a polyphenolic blend of caffeine and antioxidants from green coffee beans; and GCA—a high-quality green coffee bean extract.
PLT Health Solutions and Nutraiati introduce Artesa Chickpea Flour in North AmericaThe new ingredient addresses a number of issues that have prevented other nutritionally desirable pulse/legume flours from gaining widespread adoption—including taste, sensory characteristics and formulating functionality.
Curcumin takes the pain out of rugby tackle after-effects, finds studyMeriva, a proprietary lecithin-based form of curcumin from Indena, significantly reduced pain and enhanced physical function in injured rugby players, according to a recent study in the European Review of Medical and Pharmacological Sciences.
Alkemist Labs moves to larger facility to accommodate growth, expand capacityThe new 21,000-sq.-ft. facility has more than four times the space and will include a much larger laboratory area, with the lab expanding from 1,000 square feet to nearly 6,000 square feet. The new facility also offers clients increased capacity and allows for expansion of service offerings.
CAMAG Scientific announces the appointment of Dr. Maged Sharaf as director of scientific business development (North America)Dr. Sharaf’s duties will include: educating clients about the value of HPTLC through seminars, training courses, congresses and scientific meetings; acting as a scientific liaison between CAMAG Scientific’s laboratory and potential clients; further developing the role of HPTLC in existing applications and broadening its reach into new applications throughout the U.S. and Canada. Before joining CAMAG Scientific, Dr. Sharaf was the chief science officer at the American Herbal Products Association.
Sabinsa executive summary--Bioavailability: Pathway or destinationWithout a deeper understanding of curcumin’s biotransformation within the body, the race to higher bioavailability is no guarantee of a more efficacious product, according to the scientists at Sabinsa in this downloadable executive summary.CONTRACT MANUFACTURING
Successfully choosing and maintaining a contract manufacturing partnershipIn this INSIDER Q&A, experts in contract manufacturing discuss aspects a brand owner should evaluate, what should be outlined in an agreement and what ongoing QA checks to conduct during the partnership. Includes comments from Aaron Secrist, director of quality and research and development at UNPA member NOW.RETAIL
Whole Foods offers free delivery to Amazon primersAmazon is now offering free, two-hour delivery of a swath of Whole Foods' products in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach to Amazon Prime members, and it plans to expand the program “across the U.S.” sometime this year.PERSONAL CARE
Limited evidence: review cites lack of science demonstrating beauty benefits for supplementsThere is very limited scientific evidence that oral nutritional supplements that often promise ‘youthful,’ ‘firm’ or ‘glowing’ skin can provide any benefits above a normal diet, say experts from the British Nutrition Foundation.SUSTAINABILITY
Bill McDonough: We are here to make goods, not ‘bads’Designer William McDonough, known as the "father of the circular economy" and co-creator of "Cradle to Cradle" design—which presents a vision for materials that benefit society with safe materials, water and energy and which eliminate waste—discussed the dark "secret of Wall Street."
Going beyond sustainable with regenerative farming"Sustainable" often pops up in marketing to describe how products are made or packaged, and while consumers increasingly buy these products at a premium, some in the natural products industry fear the concept is becoming greenwashed, while others fear the term—even in is purist form—doesn’t go far enough.
The digital secret to storefront 'surprise and delight'Surprise, then delight. That’s the formula for connecting with shoppers today, according to Trevor Sumner of Perch, in this article that explores how retailers are using digital displays and augmented reality as part of their omni-channel approach.
Outsmart e-commerce giants to win online consumers in 2018: A guideThis e-book explores what more than 4,000 consumers across four different regions of the world—the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia—value in their online experience, where opportunity exists and how brands and retailers can execute to ensure that they maintain a competitive position as the industry continues to rapidly transform.MARKET RESEARCH
Free-from foods are seen as healthier-- especially GM-free and palm oil-free: Study"Free-from" labeled foods seem healthier, with GM-free and palm oil-free labels having the strongest effect, according to a new study of almost 2,000 French, Swedish, British and Polish individuals.RESEARCH
Claims that protein supplementation adds whey more muscle disputedWhile protein supplements do significantly improve muscle strength and size, the effect is not as big as previously made out, concludes a new review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Probiotic may help beat the common cold, suggests studyA proprietary mixture of two probiotic strainsdeveloped by Swedish company Probi AB may help people catch fewer winter colds.
Could vitamin E protect against gallstones?Higher blood levels of vitamin E may be linked to a lower risk of gallstone disease, finds a recent study published in Nutrients.
Study highlights OptiMSM’s influence on key metabolic reactionsBergstrom Nutrition, manufacturer of OptiMSM,a branded form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), recently published an article detailing how the small intestine absorbs MSM, particularly in relation to sulfur. The sulfur donated by OptiMSM relieves the bioburden of essential amino acids cysteine and methionine, thereby ensuring sufficient quantity available for critical metabolic processes.Ketone drink may help diabetics manage blood sugar, suggests studyDrinking a ketone supplement may enable diabetics to have more control over blood sugar, according to researchers from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan.FDA WARNING LETTERS & GUIDANCES
Current FDA enforcement actions and guidancesKeep up to date on FDA’s current enforcement actions, including general warning letters, recall information and GMP compliance issues, with this link to FDA's website.
Search and sign up for a variety of FDA Guidances.