Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural products industry news briefs

Ginseng labeling act introduced in Congress
Last month, legislation was introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that would require the country of harvest to be included on the labels of all whole-form ginseng. Sponsored by Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, both Wisconsin Democrats, the bill would ensure that buyers of whole ginseng root are given truthful information as to its source. In a statement on his Web site, Feingold noted that 90 percent of U.S.-grown ginseng is cultivated in Wisconsin, and smugglers are increasingly labeling Canadian- and Asian-grown ginseng as "Wisconsin-grown."

Wendy's more humane
U.S. fast food chain Wendy's International announced it will give preference to pork and chicken suppliers that are dedicated to improving animal welfare systems. Currently, 10 percent of the Dublin, Ohio-based company's pork products are from hogs not raised in gestation stalls; the goal is to reach 20 percent by 2009, and to continue to increase this percentage. "We believe these actions will lead our suppliers and others in the pork and chicken industry to continue to identify improved methods of handling animals prior to processing," said Tad Wampfler, senior vice president of supply chain management, in a statement.

Grocery chain's milk goes rBST-free
Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains, announced that by 2008 its stores will ban milk produced by cows treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone. The move is due to rising customer concern about the presence of rBST in milk, company officials said. "Our customers' increasing interest in their health and wellness is the basis for our decision," said William Boehm, senior vice president and president of manufacturing for Kroger. "We appreciate the willingness of dairy cooperatives across the country to work with us to make this transition."

Hain Celestial to take over Tushies
Melville, N.Y.-based The Hain Celestial Group announced its intent to acquire TenderCare International, the Wisconsin-based marketer and distributor of chlorine- and gel-free natural diapers and baby wipes, which are sold under the Tushies and TenderCare brands. "TenderCare's environmentally friendly disposable diapers and wipes will give us a great opportunity to further expand our Earth's Best brands beyond the current categories that we're in today," said Irwin Simon, president and CEO of Hain Celestial, in a statement.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 9/p. 21

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