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Natural Plant 'Sterols' Lower Cholesterol Levels

Source: VERIS Research Information Service

If you would like a copy of the complete scientific papers described in these summaries, please call VERIS at 1-800-554-1708.

BACKGROUND: Sterols are a group of substances that are similar to cholesterol in chemical structure and also have hormone-like functions in plants. However, sterols have no hormone-like effects in people, and they actually block absorption of cholesterol in the gut. Some brands of margarine have added sterols to reduce cholesterol levels. This study incorporated sterols into low-fat foods.

RESEARCH: Researchers asked two groups of men and women, with blood cholesterol levels of 232 mg/dl to 310 mg/dl, to follow one of two prepared diets in university hospital medical centers. One group ate foods - including breads, meat products, and jams - enriched with plant sterols. Their daily intake of sterols was 1.25 grams daily for the first five weeks, 2.5 grams daily for the second five weeks, and 5 grams daily during the final five weeks of the study. The other group ate the same foods, but without plant sterols. Seventy-one people completed the study.

RESULTS: People eating the sterol-enriched foods had an 8 percent decrease in their total cholesterol levels and a 13 percent decrease in LDL ('bad") cholesterol levels. In contrast, the other group had only a 3 percent decline in total cholesterol and a 5 percent decline in LDL cholesterol levels.

IMPLICATIONS: This study demonstrates that non-estenfied plant sterols consumed in low-fat foods are as effective in lowering serum cholesterol as plant sterols consumed with fats (e.g., margarine).

Tikkanen MJ, Hogstrom P, Tuomilehto J, et al., "Effect of a diet based on low-fat foods enriched with nonesterified plant sterols and mineral nutrients on serum cholesterol," American Journal of Cardiology, 2001;88:1157-1162.

For the original abstract, visit: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11703963&dopt=Abstract

The worldwide VERIS Research Information Service disseminates nutritional information, with emphasis on the health benefits derived from antioxidants. Cognis Nutrition and Health, a global leader in the production and marketing of natural-source antioxidants and botanical ingredients, provides a grant to VERIS in support of its mission to communicate scientific news and research findings. VERIS, a distinct corporate entity, began in 1985 and serves as a preeminent resource for scientific information. Visit www.cognis.com for more research news on antioxidants.

Uncle Matt's Organic Enters Gift Fruit Market With the Opening of New On-Line 'Country Store'

Clermont, FL - - Uncle Matt's Organic, the premier family-owned Florida organic juice company, announces the opening of its new web commerce "Country Store." Customers can now go to www.unclematts.com/store to purchase premium organic citrus gift fruit boxes to send to family and friends.

"Our family knows the Florida citrus industry, so it was a natural fit for us to offer quality organic citrus fruit via the web," says founder and CEO Matt McLean. "We've designed the web site to be easy and fun for users to purchase fresh citrus gift fruit."

Products are offered in two sizes: the smaller features a 2/5th bushel of 18-20 pounds of fruit, while the larger is a 4/5th bushel containing 36-38 pounds of fruit. Customers will find appealing product choices under names like "Orange Lovers Delight," "Grapefruits Galore," and "Totally Tangerines".

Not only does Uncle Matt guarantee that his organic citrus fruit is top-quality, he's designed the web site to give customers the ability to "build their own gift box." For example, if a customer clicks on "Grapefruits Galore," they can designate whether they want "Red Grapefruits Only," "White Grapefruits Only," or a combination of the two. "We think customers will enjoy this feature because it personalizes the gift," adds Matt.

With the launch of the new e-commerce "Country Store," the company will continue to add great organic gift fruit ideas to its product line.

Shari Hindman
Integral Marketing
Boulder, Colorado
303.499.9665
[email protected]

Top GNC Executives Tour Chicago Market to Present New Business Plan and Expansion Possibilities; Meeting Will Focus On New Business Strategies and Growth

PITTSBURGH --General Nutrition Companies, Inc., the largest specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, today announced a cross-country tour of top franchising markets, including Chicago to meet face-to-face with local franchisees to discuss growth over the last three years in their market and in the industry in general, new business-building initiatives and the opportunity for local expansion including incorporating GNC's new Smoothie Bar concept into local stores.

During the annual meeting, Chicago area franchise operators, Albert and Mary Bosco will be honored with the Highest 2001 Sales Award for the Chicago market.

Russell L. Cooper, GNC Franchising's Senior Vice President and General Manager, said, "We are excited to visit our franchisees, roll up our sleeves and work on what we can do together to grow their businesses."

Cooper and other top GNC Franchising executives will meet with existing GNC franchisees in the Chicago area to present new business plans and marketing initiatives. Among them, GNC's new seven-day Gold Card program that allows franchisees' best customers to take advantage of a 20 percent discount on purchases made during the first seven days of every month and the company's new Mix and Match Buy One, Get One 50 percent off program.

Mr. Cooper added, "Now, more than ever, Americans are more health conscious and are demanding high-quality products for healthy living. To meet that consumer need, we have identified the Chicago market as a place where it makes good business sense to expand the GNC franchise opportunity to qualified candidates. We are confident that markets such as Chicago offer solid opportunities for expansion as part of our plan to award 90 new franchise stores around the U.S. in 2002."

GNC Franchising was named by Entrepreneur magazine as the number one franchise in the vitamin and nutritional supplement sector for the 13th consecutive year. In the last 90 days, GNC has awarded 43 stores, with 30 of those stores going to existing franchise operators.

GNC offers comprehensive support: site-selection, a three-phase training program, and a unique global intranet support system that provides GNC franchisees with on online training and product information, as well as operations, training and local marketing tools to help them meet their financial objectives. GNC's extensive franchise experience and support, combined with GNC's operating system and established brand presence, has resulted in the company rising to the top among industry franchise opportunities. It is the mission of GNC Franchising to be a worldwide leader in franchising by developing the world's highest quality support service and awarding license agreements to qualified candidates who share its growth and customer service objectives.

General Nutrition Companies, Inc. (GNC), based in Pittsburgh, PA, is the largest nationwide specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition as well as personal care and related products. GNC operates more than 5,300 retail outlets throughout the United States, including approximately 1,360 domestic franchise locations, and 26 foreign markets, including Canada and Mexico. GNC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Numico N.V., a worldwide market leader in specialized nutrition that includes infant and clinical nutrition and nutritional supplements. Headquartered in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, Royal Numico's operations include manufacturing facilities in more than 50 countries and research facilities in The Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., China, Australia and the USA. More information about GNC and franchising opportunities is available from GNC Franchising, Inc. Call 1-800-766-7099, visit the website at www.gncfranchising.com or email to [email protected]

CONTACT: Miller DeMartine Group
Annette Powers, 718/768-1911
[email protected]

SOURCE: General Nutrition Companies, Inc.

Statement on Kava in New Zealand

Source: Transcript of an interview from Radio New Zealand "Checkpoint" Wednesday January 16th, 2002.

Commenting on the alleged adverse reactions in Europe to Kava , Dr Colin Tukuitonga (a Director of Public Health from the New Zealand Ministry of Health): The evidence on which the decision was taken in Europe is based on a series of cases of people with liver problems that have been associated with the consumption of Kava. From an epidemiological point of view, you need to be very careful about that because it may be that there are other factors. Dr Tukuitonga says people using Kava may also drink alcohol, a known cause of liver damage.

Dr Ed Gane, a liver specialist at Auckland and Middlemore Hospitals, New Zealand, says a whole host of viruses, drugs and toxins can cause hepatitis or inflammation of the liver. Dr Gane says hepatitis B is far more likely to cause liver damage and there is a high rate of this in the Pacific, with New Zealand alone having 60,000 sufferers. Dr Gane says isolated reports of Kava and liver disease, certainly in the population of the Pacific islands where Kava is used, are also the countries where there is a very high rate of hepatitis B and it's important someone, who for example is taking Kava and has liver damage, that you make sure they don't have hepatitis B, which is a by far a much more likely cause of their liver damage. Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world and Kava root is readily available in stores and is regularly used by the Pacific Island community living in the city.

European Commission Proposes Registration Scheme for Herbal Medicine to Avoid Need for Testing

SOURCE: European Parliament and Council

The European Commission has proposed a registration scheme for herbal medicinal products with a history of traditional use in order to improve quality checks and harmonise standards across the EU. It has also recommended the creation of a committee for herbal medicinal products to ensure the involvement of experts.

The Directive provides for a special registration procedure allowing the marketing of certain traditional herbal medicines with a thirty year history of safe use, without the need for documents on safety and efficacy tests and trials. Applicants would be required to present bibliographical or expert evidence on the traditional medicinal use of the product, as well as safety data and an expert report.

If the product has not been available within the Community for the thirty year period, the applicant can provide evidence of it having been used within the Community for the last 15 years, and outside the Community for 30 years.

A list of herbal substances which fulfil the conditions of eligibility is to be compiled. Manufacturers must include a notice on the product label and in advertising which states that the product is a traditional herbal medicinal product and its efficacy has not been clinically proven.

The Committee for herbal medicinal products will be set up within the European agency for the evaluation of medicinal products. A key task will be to establish Community herbal monographs containing information such as a definition, ingredients, clinical information, pharmacological properties and bibliographical references.

The complete text of the proposal can be found at:
Proposal Revising Directive for Tradional Herbal Medicinal Products

Genentech Named One of Fortune's '100 Best Companies to Work For'; Biotechnology Industry Leader Named to List for Fourth Consecutive Year

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.-- Genentech, Inc. (NYSE:DNA) announced today that it has been named by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies To Work For" for the fourth consecutive year. Genentech moved up the list to number 59 from number 76 last year. The complete list of companies will appear in the February 4, 2002, issue of the magazine.

"We are very honored that Fortune magazine has recognized Genentech as one of the "100 Best Companies To Work For" again this year," said Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., Genentech chairman and chief executive officer. "Our employees are critical to our success and we are proud to foster an environment that attracts, retains and rewards exceptional people."

FORTUNE screened a broad range of companies for its list. Genentech, along with the other companies on the list, was chosen based on answers 250 random employees gave to 56 questions on the Great Place to Work Trust Index survey, conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute in San Francisco. FORTUNE also reviewed company newsletters, employee handbooks and videos. In addition, the magazine gathered information about the impact the September 11th terrorist attacks had on the company and evaluated the company's subsequent responses to employees.

The company's extensive benefits include an adoption assistance program, a large corporate child care center, a six-week paid sabbatical after six years and flexible work arrangements. Genentech also offers all of its nearly 5,000 employees an employee stock purchase plan, eligibility for stock options and on-the-spot bonuses for exceptional work. Other benefits include health seminars and screenings, free commuter shuttles, a company-sponsored fitness facility, long-term care insurance, an on-site hair salon, pet insurance, take-home meals, a concierge service and travel services.

Genentech, Inc., is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant unmet medical needs. Fifteen of the currently approved products of biotechnology are based on or stem from Genentech science. Genentech markets ten products directly in the United States. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, California and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DNA.

CONTACT: Genentech, Inc.
Amy Gartner, 650/225-8675 (Media)
Mike Burchmore, 650/225-8852 (Investors)
http://www.gene.com

SOURCE: Genentech, Inc.

Vitamin C prevents cancer by blocking hydrogen peroxide, but apple chemical works even better, Cornell and Korean scientists report

GENEVA, N.Y. -- Writing in the medical journal, The Lancet , scientists from Cornell University and Seoul National University offer a more precise explanation for vitamin C's anti-cancer activity. And they suggest that a natural chemical from apples works even better than vitamin C.

Their report appears in the Jan. 12, 2002, issue of The Lancet , (Vol. 359, No. 9301), the weekly journal for physicians published in London.

C.Y. Lee, Cornell professor of food science and technology, and his South Korean colleagues, Ki Won Lee, Hyong Joo Lee and Kyung-Sun Kang, found that vitamin C blocks the carcinogenic effects of hydrogen peroxide on intercellular communication. Until this finding, the mechanism for vitamin C's inhibitory effects on carcinogenic tumor formation was not understood.

However, the report notes that quercetin, a phytochemical found in apples, has even stronger anticancer activity than vitamin C. (Phytochemicals, such as flavanoids and polyphenols, are plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing compounds.)

"Vitamin C has been considered one of the most important essential nutrients in our diet since the discovery in 1907 that it prevents scurvy," says Lee. "In addition, vitamin C has several important functions in our body for the synthesis of amino acids and collagen, wound healing, metabolism of iron, lipids and cholesterol and others. In particular, vitamin C is a well known anti-oxidant that scavenges free radicals." (An anti-oxidant is one of many chemicals that reduce or prevent oxidation, thus preventing cell and tissue damage from free radicals in the body.) "Vitamin C prevents the inhibition of gap-junction intercellular communication (GJIC) induced by hydrogen peroxide," says Lee. GJIC is essential for maintaining normal cell growth. Inhibition of GJIC is strongly related to the carcinogenic process, especially to tumor promotion. Hydrogen peroxide, a tumor promoter, inhibits GJIC by changing a special protein, connexin43. When rat liver epithelial cells were treated with vitamin C, the researchers report, inhibition of GJIC induced by hydrogen peroxide was prevented.

Although vitamin C protects against oxidative DNA damage through its free-radical scavenging activity, Lee and his coworkers believe that the vitamin's anti-tumor action functions through a different mechanism.

"The most powerful weapon we have in the Þght against cancer is prevention," concludes Lee. "A diet rich in phytochemicals and vitamin C will reduce the risk of cancer. These phytochemicals and nutrients are most readily available in fresh fruits and vegetables." These recommendations echo those of Lee and his Cornell colleagues in a report in the journal Nature (June 22, 2000).

"Natural" or "Plant-Derived" Labeling Can Mislead

New Survey Shows False Consumer Confidence About Natural Claims on Rx or OTC Drugs, Foods, Herbals and Cosmetics

Source: National Consumers League (NCL)

WASHINGTON, DC —Three-quarters of Americans believe that products labeled “natural” should contain at least 90 percent or more natural ingredients and 86 percent believe products labeled “natural” are safe, according to a survey released by the National Consumers League (NCL) today.

“The reality is that natural isn’t always safe, and products with the ‘natural’ labeling are not required by law to contain only natural ingredients,” said Linda Golodner, NCL President. “Our survey shows that consumers think of words like ‘safe’ and ‘good for me’ when they think of natural, but across the board—from prescription drugs to food products—many of these natural claims are misleading at best.”

Natural or plant-derived claims on labels aren’t only found on dietary supplements and herbals. NCL has found the claim on prescription medicines, over-the-counter medications, foods, personal care products, and cosmetics. A new report released today by NCL explores government regulation of natural labeling for these products and suggests that clear definitions among all types of products are necessary to help consumers understand the meaning of the word.

For example, Anso Comfort Capsules, promoted as a “natural” herbal dietary supplement useful for treating a wide variety of illnesses, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, were found to contain the undeclared prescription drug chlordiazepoxide. Chlordiazepoxide is an addictive controlled substance used for anxiety and as a sedative, and can be dangerous if not taken under medical supervision. The distributor recalled the product and consumers were warned to immediately stop using the product.

The California Department of Human Services found in a random sample of herbal stores that 32 percent of these “natural” remedies contained either heavy metals (such as lead, arsenic, and mercury) or undeclared pharmaceuticals.

FDA does not specifically define or regulate the use of the claims “natural” or “plant-derived” for drugs, prescription or over-the-counter. Generally, drug labels or advertisements cannot make false or misleading statements. But it’s happening. For example, the marketers of Cenestin®, a prescription hormone replacement therapy drug, claim that the product contains estrogens that are 100 percent plant-derived. However, a recent analysis indicates that the estrogens are only about 65 percent plant-derived, with the balance derived from petrochemical feedstocks.

NCL’s survey results show that a majority of consumers (65 percent) falsely believe that products claiming to be “natural” must describe on the label which of the product’s ingredients or processes are natural. As more and more consumers take a leading role managing their health by carefully reading food and dietary supplement labels and learning about new medications and treatments, NCL says it is more important than ever for them to understand the claims made regarding drug products and food items.

“Just because something is on the shelf at the grocery store or drug store does not mean it’s harmless,” said Golodner. “When taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements, consumers must always be cautious of interactions with foods and medications and possible side effects, even if the product is labeled ‘natural’.”

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to identify, protect, represent, and advance the economic and social interests of consumers and workers. NCL is a private, nonprofit membership organization.

AHPA Update: Kava Information from the AHPA Executive Committee

Health authorities in Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, France and the United States are now engaged in various reviews and actions related to consumer use of the herb kava (Piper methysticum). AHPA’s Executive Committee has unanimously agreed to support a communication to consumers of kava-containing products to notify them of the information that is the subject of these activities. This communication does not constitute a new labeling recommendation from AHPA.

AHPA’s members have received four Updates beginning on November 21 that were related to these federal health authority actions regarding kava. Contact Robin Gellman at (301) 588-1171 x107 for further information.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CONSUMERS OF KAVA DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

The use of some herbal products containing kava extract has been alleged to be associated with serious liver disease. In response to this concern, the American Botanical Council (ABC) issued a news release on the safety of kava containing products on December 20, 2001 in which specific cautions were recommended for users of kava products.

There are at this time a small number (presently about 30) of case reports that allege that consumption of kava extract products is associated with liver damage. These reports are being evaluated by the federal health authorities in Germany, Great Britain, Belgium and the United States and through a process that is being cooperatively managed by American Herbal Products Association and other trade associations. Also, the U.S. FDA has requested that doctors who have treated liver damage to review patient files and to report any cases where kava was used. In addition, sales of all kava products (except certain homeopathics) have been suspended voluntarily in Great Britain and by action of the federal health authorities in France, and an acetone extract of kava has been removed by the Swiss health authorities.

While this review is ongoing, AHPA, following the lead of ABC, encourages communication of the following information to consumers of kava products:

  • that rare reports (presently about 30) have been received by various government health authorities where kava was used by individuals who experienced liver damage, sometimes serious
  • that these case reports have not yet been fully evaluated by the health authorities through recognized or accepted scientific processes; many reports contain extremely limited information
  • that most of the case reports involved individuals who were reported to be taking one or more medicines at the same time as their use of kava
  • that all of these reports appear to be associated with concentrated extracts of kava rather than with raw kava root, traditional kava beverages, or dilute products such as kava tinctures
  • that sales of all kava products (except certain homeopathics) have been suspended voluntarily in Great Britain and by action of the federal health authorities in France, and an acetone extract of kava has been removed by the Swiss health authorities
  • that AHPA and other trade associations are supporting scientific review of these case reports and other data and information on kava, and are considering whether additional scientific evaluations of kava should be undertaken
  • that, in the interests of caution, the following information should be considered by consumers of products containing kava:
    • do not use kava if taking prescription and/or OTC drugs or alcoholic beverages
    • consult with a health care practitioner if intending to use kava routinely or on a daily basis
    • discontinue use of kava and seek medical attention if any symptoms of jaundice (nausea, fever, dark urine, yellow eyes, etc.) occur

The considerations listed above are based on the information that is presently available and that is still being evaluated.

Until the emergence of these case reports kava has been reasonably expected to be safe when used responsibly. Kava beverages have been used in most South Pacific cultures for centuries. Kava is now widely sold throughout the U.S. and Europe and has been the subject of numerous scientific reviews. The recently reported cases referred to above will need to be thoroughly evaluated before new conclusions can be drawn as to any relationship between responsible use of kava and liver disorders.

CDN: Natural Health Products Report - Update

Source: NHP Report

Health Canada Issues a Consumer Alert

On January 16, 2002, Health Canada has put out a consumer Advisory Alert on kava-kava. The Advisory applies to products that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and those that do not. In light of reports of liver toxicity related to the use of kava-kava products in Europe, Health Canada is reviewing the safety of kava and once the safety assessment is completed, it is anticipated that further action will be forthcoming, including a possible recall of all products containing kava. Health care practitioners are also asked to report any adverse effects including liver toxicity to Health Canada officials. Kava is found in herbal and homeopathic preparations and is used to treat anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, pain and muscle tension. It is also now found in many functional food products and beverages. Kava-Kava is one of the top ten best selling botanicals (number 9#) in Canada and it is anticipated that sales will further decline due to negative publicity surrounding this Advisory Alert.

New Natural Health Products Regulations Now in CG1

The new rules governing nhps was finally published in Canada Gazette, Part 1 (CG 1) on December 22, 2001. This is in keeping with the government timetable which hopes to proceed to CG2 by the spring of 2002 at which time they will be appended to the Food & Drug Act (F&DA).

Set out for the first time is a definition of "natural health product", an item having "two compoenents to it, a function component and a substance component. The function component relates to the intent of the NHP definition, which is to capture those substances which are manufaturered, sold or represented for use in:

a) the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state or its symptions in humans;

b) restoring or correcting organic functions in humans; or,

c) maintining or promoting health or otherwise modifying organic functions in humans."

Covered under the new regs is any plant, or plant material, alga, fungus or non-human animal material, extract or isolate of these items in which the primarly molecular structure of which is identical to that which it had prior to its extraction or isolation, vitamins (biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, A, B1,2,6,12, C,ascorbic acid, D, E, K), any animo acid or any of its salts, EFAs, minerals, and probiotics.

The new proposed regulations include product licensing provisions, site licensing, GMP requirements, labelling and packaging requirements. Pre-market approval for nhps will be required before any product can be sold in Canada.

Refer to the Health Canada website, http://canada.qc.ca/gazette/part1/pdf/g1-13551.pdf. (For viewpoint, refer to article on page 11).

GCI Moves to New Digs

GCI Nutrients (Canada) Inc., has moved to 385 Lynn Avenue, North Vancouver, BC, V7J 2C4. "Our new facilities will enable us to provide our customers with the high quality service they have come to expect from us", states President, Yda Brink. Phone and fax numbers remain the same at 604-903-7333, fax: 604-903-7332. A supplier of botanical and nutraceutical raw materials, the company celebrated its 5th year anniversary this year.

Sales Agents

Bio-Plex Products Inc., a manufacturer of non-alcoholic herbal tinctures, capsules, salves, lotions and personal care products based in Nedelec, Quebec, is seeking two sales representatives, one for Western Canada and one for Eastern Canada. The company has expanded their operations and have opened up a new office in Laval at 67 D Blvd., Samson West to better service their accounts. They have also recently hired two sales representatives, Mr. Michel Larocque of Sudbury, ON, to service Ontario accounts and Mrs. Anne Loiselle who will handle Quebec accounts. The company has launched their new bilingual website, www.bioplexonline.com.

Bio-Plex has also created a brand new line of products for therapists and other holistic practitioners. The TRILOGIK line consists of a kit of three products, an encapsulated herbal blend, a non-alcoholic tincture and a massage oil with essential oils. For information, and to send your resume, please call 1-800-668-4534 and speak to Mr. Serge Guenette, National Sales Manager.

PanGeo Third Quarter Results

PanGeo Pharma Inc. (TSE:PIL) a specialty pharmaceutical company released its Third Quarter results (ending October 31, 2001) recently. The company manufactures and supplies a range of specialty pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals to both Canadian and international markets. Third quarter revenues increased to $17.5 million from $13.0 million from previous year. Operating Income (EBITDA) was $2.8 million compared to same quarter results of $1.1 million last year. Net income grew to $2.0 million compared to last year $253 thousand. When compared to the previous nine months (ending October 31, 2001), net income grew to $3.7 million compared to $169 thousand.

Earlier this year, PanGeo purchased Herbal Health Inc., a US branded liquid herbal company manufactuerer of the Essential Solutions line distributed to over 12,000 U.S. retail stores including Rite-Aid, Albertson’s, Natures Best, Savon/Osco Drugs and GNC.

In November, PanGeo announced that its Canapharm private label division finalized a deal to supply acetaminophen items to Wal-Mart Canada, beginning January 2002.

Canapharm, the private label division of PanGeo Pharma, also recently hired Mr. Henry Gallwitz formerly with Stanley Pharmacueticals/Vita Health as Director, Private Label Sales. The company supplies such chains as Shoppers Drug Mart, Hy & Zels and Zellers. PanGeo website is www.pangeopharma.com.

Rhema Expands to New Facilities

Canadian custom manufacturer Rhema Industries, Ltd. has moved to new custom-built facilities at 1751 Brigantine Drive, Coquitlam, BC, V3K 7B4. According to Charles Redden, President and CEO, "the new building allows us to consolidate all our activities; previously we worked out of four different locations." The new facility is GMP compliant and has a license for the manufacture and packaging of pharmaceuticals. The new building has 12,000 sq. ft. of plant space which can be expanded with an added 50,000 sq. ft. of warehousing.

"Along with the favourable exchange rate, our increased plant capacity means that we can take Rhema to the next level. We have seen our North American business grow and we anticipate further growth in manufacturing for the domestic US market given our low dollar", stated Redden.

The company has also hired new staff and promoted others. Joining the company this past fall are Doug Robertson as Director of Quality &

Compliance. He formerly served with Vita Health (Stanley Pharmaceuticals) and has over 20 years in QC/QA.

Frank Wong has been promoted to Director of Technical Services and Product Development, and Carmine Di Giovanni is now the National Sales Manager. Wong joined Rhema last year and was formerly with Sisu Enterprises. Di Giovanni who joined the company in 1998 has extensive experience in the natural products industry. For information, contact Rhema Industries Ltd., at 1-800-60-RHEMA or visit www.rhemaindustries.com.

30th Anniversary Bash for Donmar

Donmar Foods Incorporated of Aurora, Ontario is celebrating their 30th anniversary. Incorporated in the fall of 1971, they established a health food division in 1979 to distribute quality supplements, cosmetic and body care products. Donmar Health & Beauty Products is the exclusive Canadian distributor for Annemarie Borlind Cosmetics and Sun Chlorella. In 2000, Donmar introduced their own dfi line of supplements under the dfi logo and daisy label. Throughout the next 12 months Donmar will be offering anniversary specials to their customers. Call 1-800-757-4531/905-726-3463 or visit their website at: www.donmar.ca for information.