Editorial: Recapping 2008

One year ago - Not so long. Many stories have come and gone, several themes continue to dominate our industry, and a few of the fears of the phobic have not yet come to pass. Just one year ago, we didn’t know how pervasive the word ‘melamine’ would become, stevia was merely a supplement sweetener ingredient, and the global economy was firing on pretty much all cylinders.

At this time in 2007, we looked back on an ingredient quality crisis in mid-year, implementation of AER legislation at the close of 2007, and “discussions on health claims, new product introductions, (and how) the emerging ‘mainstream’ categories of omega-3 and probiotic containing foods, beverages and supplements (would) provide never before seen legitimacy and growth options for our community.”

An analysis of 2007 activity led to conclusions that “the regulatory context is one of the headline items…..With US GMPs and SAER legislation to be implemented and health claims under review, we’ve got the same marketplace in potential transition as we do in much of the EU where similar issues (specifically health claim evaluation) are creating a huge amount of market uncertainty.” (http://www.npicenter.com/anm/templates/newsEditorial.aspx?articleid=20213&zoneid=42)

Other signal topics included our predicting that certification would be a key issue, we were watching Whole Foods and Wild Oats, and on a more global level, industry consolidation at ingredient level. The current economic crisis may have changed value perceptions, but one can strongly argue that companies may be currently more vulnerable to acquisition than ever before.

Although we’ll be focusing on a 2008 review on NPIcenter itself in early 2009, let’s take a walk back through some headlines from 2008 now. (As I’ve done in previous years, expect a bit of analysis on these in a couple weeks). So I’ve gone back through our 2008 archives and listed by month the following NPIcenter items and releases. But, I may have missed something and here would welcome any and all input. And remember, early in 2009, we’ll publish an analysis of just why these items are so significant:

January:

Robinson Pharma Inc. receives third party certification for cGMP compliant operations from Shuster

FDA Commissioner Names Directors to Food Safety and Veterinary Centers

Kemps Launches First Fresh Milk in North America Containing MEG-3® Ingredient

Council For Responsible Nutrition Calls Proposed DHEA Legislation “A Solution In Search Of a Problem”

Naturex Acquires Berkem's "Actifs Innovants" Division

New Draft Standard for Organic Personal Care Products Now Available for Public Review

Sellers of Alternative Hormone Replacement Therapy Products Settle with FTC for Failing to Substantiate Health Claims

Dannon Refutes Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Misleading Claims

February:

Sellers of “Obesity Treatment” Program Settle with FTC for False Weight-Loss Claims

Frutarom Expands Lab Resources Spurring New Organic Flavor Innovations

Sabinsa Announces Capability as Full-Service Contract Manufacturer

LycoRed Awarded Important New Skin Protection Patent

FDA Investigation Leads to Several Indictments for Importing Contaminated Ingredients Used in Pet Food

Arcadia Biosciences and Bioriginal Food and Science Corp. Enter Strategic Alliance to Market High GLA Safflower Oil

March:

Natural Products an Important Part of Canada's Economy: More Needs to be Done

FDA corrects earlier statements on company size determination for cGMP compliance: Only "directly" employed to be counted

Published Study Shows EpiCor(R) Significantly Reduces Incidence and Duration of Cold and Flu

Launch of OASIS - The First U.S. Organic standard for the beauty and personal care industry

New Study: Pycnogenol(R) Improves Memory in Elderly

Schiff(R) Introduces New Supplement Products for Intestinal Health and Beauty Maintenance

International Probiotics Association Establishes Product Guidelines

FDA Soliciting Comments on Premarket Notification Submission for a New Dietary Ingredient (NDI)

April:

Garden of Life's fucoTHIN Has Product Claims Validated by ERSP

NAD Reviews Advertising For Lipid Nutrition's PinnoThin

Meta-analysis of Vitamins A and E, Beta Carotene and Mortality Still Flawed, Association Says

Country Life Vitamins Becomes The First Line Of Vitamins Certified Gluten Free

Expert workshop targets food supplement regulation in Mexico

May:

InterHealth Nutraceuticals Opposes Recent Petition to FDA to Treat Weight Loss Claims as Disease Claims

U.S. Nutrition Product Sales Via Direct-to-Consumer Channels Grow 7.7% to $12.2 billion in 2007

IADSA celebrates decade of global regulatory achievements

Commercial Success For DSM’S Fabuless(TM)

PNI Secures Marketing Rights For Benexia™ Chia Seed

NSF's Dietary Supplement Standard is Updated to Keep Pace with FDA GMP Regulations

Industry Members Rally in Washington, D.C. for the Natural Products Association's 11th Annual Natural Products Day

Council For Responsible Nutrition To Defend Weight Loss Claims For Dietary Supplements

June:

NBTY Buying Leiner Health

NBTY Announces Agreement to Purchase Leiner Health Products

Sweet Success for Stevia…finally

NSF International to Host Special Dietary Supplement GMP Training in China

St. John’s Wort Rarely Marketed for ADHD; Product Degraded by End of Trial – AHPA Comments on JAMA Study

AHD International Launches Weight Loss Ingredient LuraLean(R)

Dr Pepper Snapple Group Strikes Energy Drink Market With Venom

Dietary Supplement Education Alliance Merges into Natural Products Foundation

United States and China Outline Progress on Agreement on Food and Feed Safety

Ground-breaking Study Finds Jamieson's Probiotic Sticks Ease Stress-Related Stomach Ailments

July:

New book defines strategy for superfruit success

Cargill Offers the 'First Taste Moment' of Truvia(TM) Natural Sweetener at the Truvia(TM) Greenhouse, Rockefeller Center, July 9-11

A New Way To Develop Exclusive Products Faster: The New Functional Foods Model

August:

CRN Adopts Voluntary Program For Marketing DHEA

PepsiCo and Whole Earth Sweetener Company Introduce All-Natural, Zero-Calorie Sweetener PureVia(TM)

Study Proves Administration of PhosphoLean™ (N-Oleyl-Phosphatidylethanolamine and EGCG) Improves Diet Compliance, Insulin Resistance, Depressive Symptoms and Binge Eating Associated With Dieting

Consumerlab.com finds fifty fish oil supplements free of contaminants in fish

ChromaDex Completes $4.67 Million Capital Raise in Private Placement Transaction

Sprunk-Jansen Launches Products Based On Greek-Arabic System, Opens US Office, Announces Staff

Health claims based only on human intervention studies not practical says IADSA

Probiotic Drink Yakult(R) Boosts Las Vegas Market

Makers of Airborne Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Advertising Agreement Brings Total Settlement Funds to $30 Million

ABC Releases Monograph on Scientific Research of POM Wonderful® Pomegranate Juice

Glanbia Acquires a Leading US Sports Nutrition Company

September:

JAMA Publishes Meta-Analysis on Antioxidants – Industry Responds

EU as a global exporter of regulation

New Director General for Canada's NHPD

Clinical Trial Shows Cardiovascular Benefits for Rooibos, Popular Antioxidant Herbal Tea from South Africa

FTC Sweep Stops Peddlers of Bogus Cancer Cures

FDA Reports Lower Supplement AERs Than Expected

October:

Supplements Continue to be a Priority For Consumers

Danisco Signs an Exclusive Agreement with Unistraw on Probiotic Straw Concept for Beverage and Milk

TBL Capital Invests $3 Million in Gaia Herbs

Deny Unsupported GSK Weight Loss Petition, AHPA Tells FDA

STR Offers Melamine Testing in Wake of Public Concern Worldwide

Sabinsa Challenges GSK Weight Loss Claim Petition In Comments Submitted to FDA

MEG-3® Goes Mainstream with Oprah.com

Nourish America To Be Honored by Texas State House of Representatives

New Study Indicates That Ginkgo Biloba Special Extract EGb 761® from Schwabe Pharmaceuticals is an Effective Treatment of Dementia

First Personal Care Products Certified Under New Natural Seal and Standard Program

November:

FDA Issues Warning Letters to Bayer HealthCare for Illegally Marketing Two Unapproved Drugs

ChromaDex Partners With Cargill to Provide Global Quality Control Methods and Standards For Sweet Components of Stevia

Study Indicates Product from BioGaia Counteracts Bleeding Gums by Interacting With the Immune System

Codex Agrees On Risk Analysis Principles For Nutrients

New Young Investigator Grants for Probiotics Research Announced

Ginkgo's Benefits for Treatment of Symptoms of Congnitive Decline and Other Uses Are Supported by Scientific Research

Natural Health & Organic Products Industry Calls on Government to Table Fair and Appropriate Legislation

Sabinsa Submits Comments to FDA on Implementation of Section 912

December:

Lallemand and Biostime Launch Joint Venture to Market Probiotics in China

American Academy of Dermatology Issues Position Statement on Vitamin D

AHD International and The Chia Company Partner to Introduce Several New Chia-Based Products

2008 "Life…supplemented" HCP Impact Study Results Released

Whole Foods Market® Challenges FTC in D.C. Federal Court

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