FDA calls snortable chocolate product a 'street drug alternative'
Snortable chocolate producer Legal Lean Company has shut down its website after FDA issued a warning letter claiming its product, Coco Loko, encourages drug abuse in individuals, including minors. Promotional materials suggest that the products are intended as “alternatives to illicit street drugs,” according to FDA. Read more→
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Experts file comments questioning conclusions drawn from poison control center dataA recent commentary published by three experts in the dietary supplements industry cautions against drawing big conclusions from aggregate data from poison control centers.
CSPI to FDA and FTC: Crack down on supplements marketed for opioid withdrawalFederal regulators are concerned the products could dissuade addicts from taking effective, safe medicines, prolonging their addiction, possibly further endangering their health and making them additional victims of fraud. The Center for Science in the Public interest urged the agencies to crack down on eight dietary supplements marketed as opioid withdrawal aids.M&A ACTIVITY
Vitamin World received $26M bid from Latium EnterprisesLatium Enterprises has reportedly signed a letter of intent to pay $26 million for the 150 or so remaining stores operated by Vitamin World, the New York-based supplement retailer thatfiled for bankruptcy in September, according to court documents reported by Newsday.OBITUARY
Ethnobotanist and herbal medicine advocate Jim Duke dies at 88The herbal dietary supplements industry has lost another of its pioneers with the death of James Duke, Ph.D., an esteemed ethnobotanist, author and a co-founder of the American Botanical Council.FINANCIALS
UNFI breaks expectations in first quarterDistributor UNFI’s fiscal year is off to a successful start that even surprised the natural foods distributor as it reported its 1Q earnings. Net sales increased 7.9 percent, racing past the initial 2018 guidance of 3.8 percent to 5.8 percent growth.GLOBAL REGULATORY
Codex and Probiotics: Argentina supports IPA proposal to harmonize guidelinesA proposal by the International Probiotics Association to work toward harmonizing probiotic guidelines for use in food and dietary supplements has received the support of Argentina, and the country will lead the work.
Botanical deadlock: ECJ rules ‘on hold’ claims are unacceptableThe European Court of Justice says the current ‘on hold’ situation for botanicals is not satisfactory in a double-edged ruling that seems to suggest that a rejected claim is better than one on hold.
Looming Canadian regulatory change keeps hemp investment interest highWith Canada preparing for approval of recreational use of cannabis in 2018, interest in hemp-derived products is driving increased investment and M&A activity, according to financial news sources.
Germany sets new daily limit on magnesium supplementsThe maximum daily level for magnesium in food supplements consumed by adults should not exceed 250 milligrams, according to a decision by German authorities that considered new data finding no diarrhea cases after ingestion at that level.LEGAL
A judge is forcing Whole Foods to reopen its 365 storeThe retailer violated the terms of its lease with Bellevue Square mall and has 14 days to re-open, said a King County Superior Court judge. The lease required the store to stay open for at least the first 10 years of the 20-year lease.INDUSTRY SELF-REGULATION
UL and Hamacher Resource Group assist companies using supplement OWLCompanies looking to upload their dietary supplement product labels intotheSupplement Online Wellness Library (OWL), the dietary supplement product registry, now have two additional options to get their labels into this industry initiative. UNPA has endorsed the OWL for use by its members.ALL-NATURAL CLAIMS
Utz agrees to pay $1.25M in dispute over ‘all-natural’ labelingThe payout is in regard to a class-action lawsuit filed nearly three years ago, in which consumers argued that the company’s chips, pretzels and other snacks weren’t “all natural” as the packaging stated, because they were made with genetically modified ingredients.SPORTS NUTRITION
ESSNA steps up public engagement with new protein guideThe European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance says a new protein guide is one of many new activities aimed at engaging consumers of sports nutrition products.INNOVATION
The Daily Wellness Company launches products with TruTag product identityProduct authentication company TruTag Technologies Inc. in Kapolei, Hawaii, announced that its microtag on-dose technology solution has launched in The Daily Wellness Company’s U.S. product range. The launch marks the first time that TruTag’s silica microtags are available in a finished product.RETAIL
The whole truth: A wake up call and six lessons for emerging CPG brandsConcentric executive Kelli Masilun draws a few lessons from the coming changes in Whole Foods' buying structure, including that brands need to create multiple revenue streams to avoid being overly dependent on one retailer.Three in four consumers hop grocery storesThree-quarters of consumers visit more than one store per week for their groceries, according to a new report from Acosta, and two-thirds visit two to three retailers a week. Sixty percent of shoppers will leave one store to find a product for a lower price at another retailer.Nutritional shelf labeling found effective in CanadaProminent display of nutritional information translates into higher sales and measurable nutritional benefits because customers make healthier food choices, according to research of stores that implemented the Guiding Stars nutritional guidance program.UNPA MEMBER NEWS
KGK Science publishes new measures of cognitive function for supplements RCTsA new global index that combines endpoints from studies of dietary supplements for brain health may help to scientifically validate claims being made on products, says its developers at KGK Science.
NOW celebrates 50thanniversaryIn 2018, NOW, the largest independent and family-owned manufacturer of natural products in the U.S. health food store channel, will begin celebrating 50 years as a manufacturer dedicated to its mission of providing products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives.
Sabinsa Sami Labs honored with three Karnataka state exports excellence awardsThe awards presented at a ceremony in Bengaluru, India, on November 24, included recognition forAnnual Incremental Growth in Export, Tumakuru District Category and the Platinum Award for Exports.OMEGA-3s
Healthy INSIDER Podcast 141: Omega-3 functional food market trendsConsumer trends are impacting innovation within the market for functional foods fortified with EPA and DHA omega-3s. Stephanie Mattucci, global food science analyst at Mintel, discusses trends such as personalization, vegan and vegetarian diets and the food categories impacted.Omega-3 enriched chicken and eggs shown to boost health: studyEating chicken and eggs fortified with omega-3 has been associated with a series of health benefits, according to a pioneering study from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.PROBIOTICS
Could probiotics protect kids from a downside of antibiotics?Many marketing claims about the potential of probiotics have raced ahead of science, say researchers who are now trying to catch up. One NIH study is investigating kids’ gut microbes.CANNABIS/CBD/HEMP
CBD science: Health conditions we know it’s good forEducation is key to the continued boom of this blockbuster ingredient. Here's a rundown of the state of the science on cannabidiol.TRANSPARENCY
P&G becomes improbable supporter of ingredients disclosure ruleAfter years of fighting the notion that they should give away their proprietary formulas by disclosing ingredients, P&G and other companies joined lawmakers and environmental groups in support of a new California law that will require extensive ingredient labeling. But some trade groups are pushing back.PEOPLE
Brian Frisby named new president of Hyatt Life Sciences Inc.Hyatt Life Sciences, a research company headquartered in Sterling, Kan., has announced the appointment of Brian H. Frisby as president. Frisby brings 30+ years of experience in the dietary supplement industry with a background in all aspects of the business.COMMENTARY
Supplements industry year in review: Cannabis, transparency, DNA testing, moreElan Sudberg, CEO of UNPA member Alkemist Labs, revisits 2017, noting how the lab’sefforts to provide the industry with testing of botanicals, with transparent certificates of analysis and technical support, parallel the industry’s many obstacles, inflection points and threats.MOU PARTNER NEWS
ABC welcomes new board of trustees membersThe American Botanical Council has elected three new members to its board of trustees: Bethany Davis of UNPA member company FoodState; Richard Kingston, PharmD., of UNPA member SafetyCall International; and Holly Shimizu, an expert in the fields of public horticulture, herbal education and plant conservation.MARKETING
Three marketing strategies to protect, promote brands in the Internet eraMany of the tried-and-true tactics and business decisions that fueled growth for business to date will not take companies to the next level or guarantee their survival in the next 10 years, according to Gary Veynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia.MARKET RESEARCH
Emotional connection drives brand loyalty for 82 percent of consumers, survey findsMost consumers who feel emotionally connected to a brand would be willing to spend more with that brand than with others, according to a survey by Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute. The survey also found that millennials and urban dwellers lead in emotional engagement with brands.RESEARCH
Portable test platform facilitates global identification of iron and vitamin A deficiencies, scientists claimA hand-held device that provides rapid results could transform assessment of micronutrient deficiencies, says a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Chamomile extract may improve sleep among the elderly: RCTDaily supplements of a chamomile extract may improve sleep quality in the elderly, according to results of a randomized trial that supports the efficacy of chamomile.
Ayurvedic plant O. indicum has blood sugar management potential, mouse study revealsResearchers in China studied the seed extract of the flowering plant Oroxylum indicum which is native to India and Southeast Asia. They found that administering the extract to pre-diabetic mice reduced markers that may lead to diabetes.
Life saving and cost effective: Further evidence for sterols’ healthcare benefitConsuming functional foods containing plant sterolsmay be an economically attractive means of controlling cholesterol, improving quality of life, and reducing cardiovascular events in elderly adults, according to a new report from the European Journal of Health Economics.
Probiotic works with breast milk to colonize good bacteria, new study findsBabies supplemented with a proprietary probiotics strain maintained high numbers of the species in their gut, even after supplementation has ceased, reports a new study from the University of California, Davis.
Nicotinimide riboside may boost mitochondrial energy production and memory in Alzheimers DiseaseNicotiniumide riboside, a vitamin B3 derivative, may improve mitochondrial energy production and boost memory, according to a new study in lab mice from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.Prenatal folic acid supplementation helps lower postpartum depression risk: China population studyPrenatal folic acid supplementation for at least six months could lower the risk of postpartum depression in Chinese women, according to researchers in from Tianjin Medical University.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.