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Austin, Texas-based American Botanical Council recognized four scientists and organizations for their contributions to herbal knowledge and the botanical medicine movement. The James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award was presented to Google Book Search, an online tool that made hundreds of rare botanical texts accessible. Professor Hildebert Wagner of the University of Munich received the Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award. The Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award was given to Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, based in Karlsruhe, Germany. ABC Trustee Steven Foster presented the ABC Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Shiu-ying Hu, a 100-year-old Chinese botanist.

The Soyfoods Council, based in Des Moines, Iowa, added a series of monthly podcasts to its Web site, The initial podcast features an interview with Dr. Mark Messina, professor of nutrition at Loma Linda University, about soy and breast cancer. Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association published a new guide for the produce industry on how to comply with the country-of-origin-labeling law, due to go into effect Sept. 30.

Chatsworth, Calif.-based Nature's Gate announced a partnership with the nonprofit organization WaterAid to develop sustainable uses for rainwater and to help communities in Africa and Asia obtain sustainable access to safe, clean water.

Gov. John Baldacci presented the 2008 Maine Governor's Award for Business Excellence to Portland, Maine-based Planet Dog in recognition of the company's corporate sustainability. Belleville, N.J.-based Ecuadorian Rainforest announced it will create a greener culture within the company by offering clients electronic invoicing and printing bills and newsletters on recycled paper.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Callaway Consumer Products announced that its Organic Bistro Whole Life Meal line of single-serving frozen meals is now available in Raley's, Bel Air Markets and Nob Hill Foods in California and Nevada.

The 2008 Survey of Vitamin and Supplement Users named Watsonville, Calif.-based Nordic Naturals the "Top-Rated Supplement Brand." The company had the highest customer satisfaction ratings of the 47 brands considered, throughout eight different distribution channels. The online survey was completed by 6,000 dietary supplements users.

Bloomingdale, Ill.-based manufacturer NOW Foods donated more than 18,000 bottles of liquid echinacea to Nourish America, based in Ojai, Calif. The nonprofit then gave the echinacea to The River Fund of New York, a food pantry for New York's working poor and homeless.

Vernon, Calif.-based distributor Albert's Organics celebrated its 25th anniversary by donating half of the February profits from its Grateful Harvest brand to the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Albert's Director of Procurement Melody Meyer and President Steve Ela presented the check for $25,000 to OFRF Executive Director Bob Scowcroft at Natural Products Expo West.

Indianapolis-based Endangered Species Chocolate is sponsoring a volunteer doctor and sending two employees to Nigeria. Led by nonprofit The Mercy Foundation, the trip will address the severe lack of medical services and education in Uromi, Nigeria. The Endangered Species group will also be visiting the new farming cooperatives along the Ivory Coast that supply the company's cacao.

Compiled by Maya Gurarie

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