As a media professional in the natural products industry (and as a mom who believes deeply in finding more ways to bring health and wellness to more people), my hope is that the work I do here at New Hope Natural Media will have a positive impact.
It’s not always easy to determine if that is actually happening, but last week I received a note from Michael Kanter, co-owner and chief visionary officer at Cambridge Naturals in Massachusetts, that showed me how the work we do here can be a force for positive change. More important, it showed how much many natural products retailers care about the industry and its customers.
We interviewed Michael for our story last week on how natural products retailers were responding to the recent Dr. Oz segment on spiked supplements. After the interview, Michael sent me the note below (and gave me permission to publish it on newhope360). What moved me most about this note is that Michael, who has long been an advocate for supplement quality, decided to step up what he was already doing to ensure the quality and safety of the products he sells to his customers. Dr. Oz would be so proud.
Here’s Michael’s note:
Largely as a result of your contacting me I decided to immediately contact our supplement suppliers to get better documented reassurance regarding the safety and quality of their products. I sent the following letter on to about 20 companies yesterday and plan on sending more out to the rest of our companies in the next two weeks. Thanks for the discussion and for raising this important subject.
Dear Supplement Manufacturer,
Cambridge Naturals in Cambridge, MA is a 38 year old retailer that I have owned with my wife since 1974. We carry many of your products in our store. I have very recently been interviewed for an upcoming article by editors from the Natural Foods Merchandiser regarding the issue and concern over "spiked" supplements. The problem seems more widespread and publicized lately in narrow elements of the weight loss, energy, libido and life extension manufacturing industry. Nonetheless, we talked about media attention to negative aspects of nutritional supplements and how this might affect all of us. These editors are writing an article on what manufacturers and retailers are doing to address this issue. Of course our primary concern is our customers and our staff who use your products and our ability to vouch for the safety of these products.
In discussion with these editors it became clear to me that it would be valuable for us to have some credible documentation on file of your methods for ensuring that what we carry of your products have only what is listed on the labels and in particular that the products contain no "spiked" or adulterated ingredients. I know that many if not most of you have your products tested both in-house and by independent third parties but I would like to request in writing those details in terms of what you do to make sure that what you sell to us is safe according to all applicable laws. It would also be valuable for us to know what the consequences to us would be if any of your products did test positive for suspect ingredients and how you would handle that information.
Please send me those details at your earliest convenience.
Do note—I am sending this on to each and every supplement company whose products we sell.
Sincerely and most appreciatively,
Michael Kanter, President