Natural Products Association Announces Annual Award Winners

2007 Award Winners Exemplify Commitment, Innovation, and Community Outreach

Washington, D.C, (May 11, 2007) – The Natural Products Association is proud to announce the 2007 recipients of the association’s annual awards presented to outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions in various areas of the natural products industry. Recipients will be honored at Natural Products Association’s annual trade show and convention, Natural MarketPlace 2007 (formerly NNFA 2007), July 20 – 22 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Burton Kallman Scientific Award
Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.
The Burton Kallman Scientific Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions benefiting the natural products industry. The recipient for 2006 is Dr. Tieraona Low Dog. Prior to receiving her doctor of medicine degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Low Dog had a successful herbal practice in New Mexico, running a not-for-profit teaching clinic for herbalists and serving as president of the American Herbalist Guild.

In 2000, President Clinton appointed Low Dog to a blue ribbon panel, called the White House Commission of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In August 2003, Low Dog was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Executive Advisory Board for the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Since 2000, she has served on the U.S. Pharmacopoeia Dietary Supplements and Botanicals Expert Committee. She is the author of Women’s Health in Complementary and Integrative Medicine: A Clinical Guide, and is currently the director of education for the program in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona.

Rachel Carson Environmental Award
Michael Balick, Ph.D.
The Rachel Carson Environmental Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment. This year’s recipient is Michael J. Balick, Ph.D., vice president and chair, Research and Training, Philecology Curator of Economic Botany, director of the Institute of Economic Botany for the New York Botanical Garden.

For nearly three decades, Balick has studied the relationship between plants and people, working with traditional cultures in tropical, subtropical, and desert environments. In 1981 he co-founded The New York Botanical Garden’s Institute of Economic Botany with Sir Ghillean Prance. The largest and most active program of its kind in the nation, the Institute is devoted to furthering knowledge of the relationship between plants and people.

The author of more than 14 scientific and general interest books and monographs, Balick currently serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University, New York University, Yale University, and City University of New York. He is also a co-founder of a course that teaches herbal medicine to practicing physicians and other health care professionals, run in collaboration with Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine. He is an active mentor to postdoctoral, masters, and international fellowship students.

President's Award
Sandy Gooch

The President’s Award honors an individual who has made long-time contributions to the natural products industry, or has made a onetime, uniquely significant impact on the industry. Sandy Gooch, a homemaker and former grade school teacher, became interested in natural foods after suffering severe allergic reactions to antibiotics and chemical additives in food. She joined forces with Dan Volland, who operated three health food stores, to open the first Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Foods Market in West Los Angeles, California in 1977, gradually expanding to stores in cities around the state.

The Mrs. Gooch’s markets held their suppliers to rigorous standards: no harmful chemicals or preservatives, no artificial colors or flavorings, and no white flour, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine or chocolate. Eventually, companies who passed the standards and product audits became known as “Goochable” companies. With its consumer education programs, the company helped fuel a growing demand for natural foods in Southern California.

Although Whole Foods Market acquired the Mrs. Gooch’s stores in 1993, Gooch’s role as an industry advocate, innovator, entrepreneur, and community volunteer continues. Gooch has served on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ task force on nutrition and behavior as a member of the University of Southern California’s Entrepreneur Program Advisory Council and on the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government. She is also one of the original founders and investors in Elephant Pharmacy, an alternative complementary pharmacy with the goals of installing and instilling wellness, and preventing and impeding disease.

Natural Products Association Clinician Award
Keith I. Block, M.D.
The Natural Products Association Clinician Award was created to honor licensed healthcare practitioners whose work exemplifies the best standards and dedication to responsible holistic, non-invasive and integrative/complementary/alternative medicine modalities. This year’s recipient is Keith I. Block, M.D.
Block is medical-scientific director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Evanston, Illinois. The Block Center approaches health and recovery by treating the whole patient. Block focuses on cutting edge approaches to eradicating disease, but goes beyond this by establishing and rebuilding biological integrity while honoring psychosocial and spiritual needs. Patient care is grounded in the philosophy Block distinguishes as “disciplined gradualism,” meaning, whenever possible, beginning with the gentlest, least invasive means to counter growth, restore health, and prevent cancer recurrence.

Block is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s PDQ Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Editorial Board, and director of Integrative Medical Education at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago. In addition, he is editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Integrative Cancer Therapies. In collaboration with the University of Illinois and with other university facilities in the United States. and Israel, Block conducts research in nutrition and in the use of natural medicines in cancer treatment. He is the author of more than 75 published scientific articles.

Natural Products Association Industry Champion Awards
Paul Bennett and Len Monheit
The newly renamed Natural Products Association Industry Champion Award (formerly Crusader Awards) recognizes individuals who have made notable contributions to the natural products industry above and beyond commercial success. This year’s recipients are Paul Bennett and Len Monheit.

Paul Bennett, a Kansas retailer, is the founder and owner of Harvest Moon Natural Foods in Olathe. Bennett has served as vice president and president of the Natural Products Association’s Rocky Mountain Region Board of Directors, a member of the Natural Products Association’s national board since 1998, and former chair and officer of several committees and the association board. He currently serves on the association’s Long-term Planning Work Group, ComPLI and Past Presidents committees. Bennett is a member of Citizens for Health, the American Botanical Council, the Sierra Club, and United Plant Savers. In addition to his commitment to the natural products industry, Bennett has a strong devotion to the Olathe, Kansas community.

Len Monheit of Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, is editor of NPIcenter, NPIwatch and NPIDaily, global online information resources for professionals in the natural products industries. Monheit recognizes the important role of non-profit organizations in the industry, and has provided free or low-cost communications support to organizations, including support for several trade associations within the industry and has created an online industry discussion forum. Monheit has worked closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and related anti-doping organizations to develop and enhance a dialogue with industry, helping to build a bridge with the sports community so both regulations and risks associated with athletes’ use of supplements are better understood and managed.

Statesman/Stateswoman Award (formerly the Lifetime Achievement Award)
Representative Chris Cannon (R-Utah)
The Statesman/Stateswoman Award is given to individuals outside the natural products industry who have been supporters in the political and legislative arena. The winner for 2007 is Rep. Chris Cannon.

Cannon,, who was elected to Congress in 1996, has been a key advocate of the dietary supplement and natural products industry for several years. As a member of the House Government Reform Committee, the Congressional Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Caucus, and the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, he continues to be a consistent and vocal supporter of natural food products and alternative medicine. As a member of the House Government Reform Committee, which has held hearings on the role of CAM therapies, Cannon has spoken out in support of dietary supplements.

During the 109th Congress, Cannon introduced the Dietary Supplement and Healthy Meal Replacement Tax Parity Act, H.R. 1545, that would amend the Internal Revenue Code to qualify dietary supplements and meal replacement products that are authorized by the FDA to make certain health claims as tax deductible medical expenses. H.R. 1545 has been re-introduced by New York Democrat Rep. Towns (D-New York-10) as H.R. 1107 for the 110th Congress, and Cannon has signed on as a co-sponsor. Also in the 109th Congress, Cannon introduced H.R. 6168, a bill that would require adverse event reporting for dietary supplements and nonprescription drugs, and for other purposes. Cannon has also cosponsored many other bills supported by the Natural Products Association.

For more information on our awards and winners, please visit:

For photos of our awards winners, please visit:

About the Natural Products Association
The Natural Products Association is the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The association represents nearly 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids.

About Natural MarketPlace
Natural MarketPlace 2007 (formerly NNFA 2007), the Natural Products Association’s annual convention and trade show, will be held July 20-22 at Sands Expo Convention Center and Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. The conference begins on July 20 and exhibits are open July 21 and 22. For more information regarding registration and trade show activities, visit or e-mail [email protected].

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