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National Enzyme names new president

National Enzyme names new president

National Enzyme Co. recently announced the promotion of Charlie Amidon to president of NEC. Charlie will continue to serve as chief operating officer in addition to his new role as president. 

"Charlie has proven time and time again that the good of the company comes first and foremost. The team he has built is outstanding and they work tirelessly to do their best for NEC," said Tony Collier, owner of NEC. Charlie came to NEC five years ago and under his accomplished leadership, transformed the company into a full-scale dietary supplement leader. His achievements quickly added up as he reconstructed the infrastructure; successfully launched several new products; and built and developed a highly skilled team that propelled the growth of the company exponentially. As NEC continues to grow and expand, Charlie's unique talent for identifying emerging business trends will serve NEC well as the company continues to pioneer the dietary supplement industry.”

"I am looking forward to what the future holds and I'm eager to turn vision into action as we move to the next chapter,” said Amidon. “I am truly honored by Tony's confidence in my abilities and I'm grateful for this opportunity. NEC is a remarkable company and I firmly believe there is no limit to what our team can accomplish."

 

Turmeric may help stroke, Alzheimer’s

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know curcumin’s great. But turmeric, the spice that contains it, ain’t no one-trick pony. New research suggests that aromatic turmerone, another compound in turmeric, holds promise for treating neurological disorders like stroke and Alzheimer’s.

Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Julich, Germany, studied the effects of aromatic tumerone on stem cells in the brains of rats. These particular stem cells, endogenous neutral stem cells (NSC), are critical in how the brain repairs itself and recovers function in neurodegenerative diseases. In the lab, they found turmerone increased NSC growth by up to 80 percent. Live rats injected with turmerone showed an expanded hippocampus and subventricular zone (two parts of the brain were neuron growth occurs) compared with the control group of rats.

"While several substances have been described to promote stem cell proliferation in the brain, fewer drugs additionally promote the differentiation of stem cells into neurons, which constitutes a major goal in regenerative medicine,” Adele Rueger, the study’s lead author, said in a release from the institute. “Our findings on aromatic turmerone take us one step closer to achieving this goal."

The study was published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy and noted on sciencedaily.com.

Meanwhile, research into tumerone’s more famous counterpart, curcumin, continues. Nutrition industry legend Terry Lemerond called it “the single most helpful natural ingredient you can take for almost every disease or illness.” Scientists at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto are currently reviewing studies on turmeric and its compounds (including curcumin) for a meta-analysis that should offer an overall conclusion as to whether the ingredient is helpful to people suffering from digestive disorders like peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and gastroesophageal gut syndrome.

Engredea panel: Telling the Transparency Story

Engredea panel: Telling the Transparency Story

Todd Pauli, partner, Strategic Marketing, The Shelton Group, will be moderating a panel discussion on the timely topic of Telling the Transparency Story: Building Supplement Consumer Confidence on Thursday, March 5, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. An educational component of the Engredea trade show, this session will be held Anaheim Marriott Orange County ballroom 3/4, and will feature a number of notable industry experts.

Consumers are paying closer attention to transparency and the purity of ingredients; retailers are being trained on how to examine labels and ask questions about transparency; and suppliers take steps to insure their ingredients are “clean,” but are they conveying this message down the supply chain? In light of recent events, this is a particularly timely topic to explore.

Ingredient manufacturers, product formulators, and marketers need to consider the stories behind their ingredients, choosing ingredients with transparency in mind. Transparency and clean label practice means translating the commitment to science and testing into retail and consumer education directly. Telling the story Supply to Shelf is the key to improving consumer confidence and retaining market share.

Session speakers include:

  • Moderator, Todd Pauli, marketing partner, The Shelton Group
  • Lauren Clardy, founder and CEO, Nutrimarketing,
  • Weigo Zhang, president and CEO, Synutra Pure
  • Shaheen Majeed, marketing director, Sabinsa Corp.
  • Aaron Secrist, director of quality and R&D, NOW Foods
  • Elan Sudberg, CEO, Alkemist Labs

Product developers and Ingredient supplier attendees will learn:

  • Why a strong partnership between science and marketing is crucial.
  • How close collaboration from the start ensures the science meets regulatory guidelines for marketing supplements, addresses issues consumers care about.
  • Communication tactics that will successfully reach the consumer audience. 
  • Considering clean label ingredient stories when vetting products on the Engredea show floor.

This comprehensive panel will encompass marketing experts Pauli and Clardy addressing strategy and message; Ingredient manufacturers Majeed and Zhang addressing adulteration, branded ingredients, and commitment to science and education; Secrist and Sudberg will discuss product testing, QA/QC validation, purity and safety.

 

 

Hatch, Heinrich write FDA about NYAG investigation

Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., sent a letter last week to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, in response to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's request to remove herbal supplements from the shelves of four major retailers earlier this month.

In the letter, the senators inquire about the DNA barcode testing that Attorney General Schneiderman used as the scientific basis for his request. As the senators point out, many scientists have questioned "whether DNA barcoding technology is an appropriate or validated method for determining the presence of herbal ingredients in finished botanical products."

Sens. Hatch and Harkin asked four categories of questions from the FDA regarding federal regulations and the validity of the study, and have requested a response on or before this Friday, given the potential uncertainties for consumers. 

Read the letter in full here.

The Natural Products Association (NPA) has worked diligently with longtime industry champion Sen. Hatch on this issue, and we are grateful for his attention to and support on this important matter, as well as Sen. Heinrich’s. NPA will continue to keep members abreast of the issue and any response from the FDA.

Countering the attack on organic

woman-checking-organic-label-ingredients.jpg

In response to booming organic markets and growing consumer skepticism about industrial food, agrochemical firms have spent an estimated $300 million in just three years on PR campaigns to denigrate organics and promote their vision of a GMO-filled, chemically dependent, corporate-controlled agricultural system.

Here and at Natural Products Expo West 2015, Kari Hamerschlag, senior program manager of Friends of the Earth-U.S. Food and Technology Program, and Stacy Malkan, co-founder of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, dig into who's behind this deceptive PR narrative, and how the natural products industry can counter the spin.

In your observation, how has the public perception of organic changed over the past few years?

KH & SM: Organic is becoming more mainstream every day, with nearly 50 percent of consumers seeking out organic products, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. Well-founded concerns about the widespread use of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and GMOs are driving more people, especially moms, to choose organic foods over GMO and other industrial foods.

That’s the reality of the organic market; however, as we’ll discuss in our talk at Expo West, large, conventional processed food and agrochemical companies are spending millions on deceptive PR campaigns to disparage organic. Some have gone so far as to create videos and fund front groups that criticize organic moms as “elitist bullies,” as we wrote in our cover story in FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) magazine. They are also trying to deceive consumers with messages that organic food is no better than food produced with toxic chemicals. But consumers are not buying it—and the science on pesticide exposures and health tells a different story.

People are buying organic because they don’t want chemicals in their food. This is especially the case with organic meats, in which sales have skyrocketed, growing 12 percent just last year. 

As organic grows, we are going to see agrochemical companies continue to push the myth that chemical pesticides are safe and that consumers are wasting their money with organics. To counter the spin, it’s more important than ever for the organic industry to continue telling the story about why organic is better for people’s health and the environment, and why it is the only sustainable path forward for our global food system.

What do organic food producers need—policy-wise or otherwise—to find continued success?

KH: It has been amazing to watch how demand for organic food has grown despite the limited federal policy support. When I was with the Environmental Working Group, I did a detailed analysis of public support for organic agriculture.

What I found shocked me:

  • Public spending to support organic agriculture actually declined an average $65 million every year between 2009 and 2012. That is roughly the same as the government spent on crop insurance premium subsidies for just 67 chemical-intensive monoculture farms in 2011.
  • Public investment doesn’t come close to meeting the research, infrastructure and technical assistance needs of growers, especially as demand for organic continues to grow. Organic research is especially underfunded, with 92 of all research proposals denied funding in 2012 by the Organic Research Extension Initiative. 

If we don’t significantly step up public and private investment in the sector, we will likely lose more organic farmers, import more organic food and leave most U.S. farmland in industrial, chemical-intensive, GMO monoculture production. Organic meat and dairy farmers will especially struggle unless there is more investment in grain production.

Now more than ever, we need to step up our advocacy and demand better public policies for organic farming. We need:

  • Increased funding for research, especially public breeding programs;
  • Dramatic cuts to crop insurance subsidies that give unfair advantage to GMO chemical intensive agriculture;
  • Greater support for conservation and other programs that fund organic practices and transition.

Organic companies must help fill the gap in public support by investing in organic production, especially in research, transition, technical assistance and infrastructure.

What can the food movement learn from the progress made in cleaning up cosmetics?

SM: Women are driving the shift to a new healthy, green economy. Women are buying most personal care products and food, and about 75 percent of consumer products overall. And women are demanding more transparency and safer products.

I think that’s because so many moms are dealing with sick kids; they are experiencing first-hand the rising rates of allergies and other health problems, and they are making the connection to unhealthy food and avoidable chemical exposures in our daily lives.

These women are educating themselves through research and building powerful communication networks to share what they’re learning. They are no longer “passive consumers” absorbing one-way messages from corporations. That’s why the agrichemical industry’s PR campaign is so heavily focused on winning back the trust of women and moms via social media tactics, as we’ll discuss in our Natural Products Expo West talk.

One lesson from the success of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is the power and importance of nonprofit campaigns that push for transparency and expose the truth about what’s in products. For example, product tests that exposed carcinogens in baby shampoo forced the big companies to clean up their act, and also raised consumer awareness about the importance of truly natural products. Campaigns for our right to know what’s in our food, such as GMO labeling campaigns, are having a big impact on the market by raising demand for food made by companies that fully disclose what’s in their products and how they are made. Kudos to all the companies in the natural products industry that are supporting these campaigns and raising the bar for full transparency.

 

The feds’ top regulatory priorities right now

The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission have their eyes on you. Both agencies keep a close watch on manufacturers, marketers and distributors of natural foods and dietary supplements to make sure you’re following good manufacturing practices and not making illegal claims about your products. Attorneys Ivan Wasserman, partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, and Justin Prochnow, shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP, walk us through the FDA and FTC’s top priorities right now.

FitLife Brands revenue, income up in 2014

FitLife Brands revenue, income up in 2014

FitLife Brands Inc. (OTCBB:FTLF), an international provider of innovative and proprietary nutritional supplements for health conscious consumers marketed under the brand names NDS Nutrition Products™ (NDS), PMD®, SirenLabs® and CoreActive®, announced preliminary financial results for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2014.

The Company is providing certain preliminary estimates of the results of operations that it expects to report for the full fiscal year. The financial results provided in this release are prior to the completion of the review by FitLife’s external auditor and therefore are subject to change.

Net income is estimated to be in the range of $1.6 to $1.7 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2014, which reflects a more than 25 percent increase over the $1.3 million of net income reported during the prior year. Total revenue is estimated to be approximately $20.0 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2014, which is relatively unchanged in comparison with the prior year. In 2014, as previously disclosed, the company migrated to GNC’s centralized distribution platform for fulfillment to the GNC franchise network, resulting in slightly lower per unit sales price recognized by FitLife in 2014 versus 2013. For purposes of evaluating product demand growth, management estimates that had sales been recorded under the previous decentralized distribution system, revenue would have increased approximately 9 percent over the prior year.

“During 2014, our team delivered another year of double-digit earnings growth,” said Mike Abrams, Chief Financial Officer of FitLife Brands. “We saw a solid increase in volumes related to strong sell through and increased penetration into domestic and international franchisees. While realized pricing was affected by the previously-discussed shift to centralized GNC distribution, we more than offset this with, among other things, lower distribution costs and reduced operating expenses. The demand from the domestic and international GNC franchise network for our franchise exclusive brands is robust and we are committed to continuing to grow this business in 2015 with a number of new product introductions and location expansions.”

In addition, the Company is pleased to confirm that it will be launching a new corporate exclusive brand into GNC corporate stores. “We are very excited about the launch of a new brand and products into GNC’s corporate-owned locations. Under the current plan, we expect our new products will begin shipping in late March and be available in a significantly larger number of locations than we had originally anticipated,” said John S. Wilson, chief executive officer of FitLife Brands. “The launch into GNC corporate marks a new stage of growth for our company. We will be providing more details about our new brand and new product introductions as they become available on store shelves. We are committed to our strategy of building a portfolio of authentic and best-in-class nutritional supplement brands that have a strong value proposition for consumers and distribution partners, which we believe will continue to translate into significant revenue and earnings growth for FitLife.”

Entrepreneur Profile: Lisa Curtis, founder & CEO of Kuli Kuli

Lisa Curtis founder of Kuli Kuli

 

What was the inspiration for your business? What inspires you daily?

In West Africa, 18 million people are malnourished and 55% of the population lives on less than $1 per day. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, I conducted a three-month needs assessment and identified two challenges: widespread malnutrition and a lack of economic opportunity for women. Moringa is an abundant local superfood that thrives in hot climates, but few people benefit from it. While this “miracle tree” is packed with protein, essential amino acids, 27 vitamins and 46 antioxidants, its rarely eaten and is viewed as a low-value crop.

I started Kuli Kuli to change this. Kuli Kuli sells Moringa Superfood Bars and Organic Moringa Powder in the U.S. made with moringa imported from West Africa. We support farming cooperatives that teach women to grow, process and incorporate nutrient-rich moringa into their families’ diets, reducing malnutrition. We import a portion of the moringa to the U.S. for our bars, creating an international market for moringa and a livelihood for our farmers. Many of the women we work with make five to ten times the average income in their region. We pay a ten percent premium for our moringa which our nonprofit partners use to improve nutrition locally.  

What’s been your road to success and critical success factors along the way?

We owe all of our success to the crowd. We’ve a mission-driven company that has built up a movement of people who want to play a part in using moringa to improve nutrition worldwide.  We’ve been financed almost entirely by crowdfunding, to the tune of over $580,000. We launched  in 2013 with a crowdfunding campaign that raised $53,000 and made us the most popular food campaign Indiegogo had ever had. We again turned to the crowd for a Kiva Zip loan when we were running out of funds and then did another crowdfunding investment campaign that raised over $350,000 from investors online. More recently, the crowd voted us a winner of the Ledbury Launch Fund, which won us $25,000 and an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe national television show.   

 

Describe a mistake you made with your business. How did you fix it?

Perhaps one of our biggest mistakes was underestimating how long our first manufacturing run would take. Following our Indiegogo campaign we had over 800 people and Whole Foods NorCal who wanted our Moringa Superfood Bars. We thought it would take us three months to finalize the formulation, get the labels printed and get the final product to our customers and stores. It took six months. One of the delays was caused when the U.S. government shut down and our moringa was stuck in U.S. customs for a month. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so frustrating! We’ve since learned to overestimate lead times as opposed to overpromising and under delivering. 

What’s your best piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs?

Be a sponge. Ask for advice and soak it all up. There are so many amazing people in the natural foods space who have been generous with their time and helped us navigate the complexities of the food world. Ahmed Rahim of Numi Tea in particular has been an incredible mentor of mine. If I can build a company half as successful and world-changing as Numi Tea I will be thrilled.  I never thought that someone like Ahmed or Mary Waldner from Mary’s Gone Crackers would spend their time helping a small food company but I reached out anyways with questions. It worked! As I remind myself often, the only failure in life is the failure to try. 

Where are you going? What is the vision for your business in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?

Kuli Kuli will be the leading provider of unique superfood products, starting with moringa. We will work with women’s cooperatives all over the world to drive sustainable growth and agricultural development. Our non-profit arm will invest heavily in nutritional education and rejuvenate nutrient-rich food sources as a tool for nutritional security. The Kuli Kuli brand will inspire other companies to rethink their own brands and push for social innovation through powerful, thoughtful branding. Kuli Kuli will find innovative ways to drive sales online and kill it in the digital space. We will develop a new kind of media presence that connects people across wide distances and changes the way that people in need are perceived. A new generation will imagine a world without hunger.

What was the first retail account you landed?Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli founder

Our first retail account was Whole Foods Northern California. We walked into that meeting expecting to have to convince them to bring us in. We were shocked to discover that they were very interested in moringa, had loved the sample Moringa Superfood Bars we’d sent and wanted to bring us in as soon as possible. It was the first and best retail account we’ve ever landed.

Has anything surprised you about working with independent retailers?

We didn’t expect that it would be so expensive to get into a store! We had no idea what free fills, MCBs, OIs and TPRs were. We learned a lot very, very quickly about how much money it takes just to get on the shelf.

How do you position your products in mass, natural and online?

We tell people that moringa is the #NextKale. It’s actually more nutritious than kale, with more calcium, iron and B vitamins.

We also tell them that moringa is an “Ancient Green” eaten by indigenous cultures worldwide for thousands of years. Moringa is one of the most nutrient dense plants on the planet with 9 essential amino acids, 27 vitamins and 46 antioxidants. Moringa is the perfect complement to a healthy lifestyle and is used by millions of people worldwide to gain the nutrients they need to thrive. Moringa is particularly well-suited for women and vegetarians as it is naturally rich in calcium, iron and b vitamins (including folic acid). Kuli Kuli’s Moringa Superfood Bars provide essential nutrients and energy during a beautiful hike or before an invigorating yoga session. Our Organic Moringa Powder can be used to enrich each and every meal with a healthy sprinkling of nutrients.

How do you develop relationships with retailers and educate them about your company’s story?

We are in our stores all the time. I’ve personally done hundreds of demos and we have a team of 16 people that visits our stores, conducting demos and building relationships with buyers. We’re the first to market with this new superfood and so we spend a lot of time educating buyers and consumers about moringa and our mission.

What most helped market your product in the beginning?

A lot of people gravitated to the fact that Kuli Kuli was founded by a former Peace Corps volunteer. Even before they tried our products, the idea of a Peace Corps volunteer coming back to the U.S. and selling a healthy product that also improves nutrition in Africa resonated with a lot of people. 

What’s a guilty pleasure of yours?

Tea and chocolate. I probably drink three to four cups of tea a day and have at least two pieces of chocolate. 

What's the inside scoop on yourself?

I once spoke Swahili with President Obama. It was after I had spent the summer working in Kenya. I’d promised all my Kenyan friends that if I ever got the chance to meet President Obama that I would discover once and for all if he actually speaks Swahili. I never thought I’d get a chance to meet him. But then I was selected for a White House Internship and I ran into the President at the Congressional Luau. I greeted him in Swahili and then he greeted me back without a second thought. I told him that he’d passed the test and he laughed.  

Clif Bar launches Organic Energy Food pouches

Clif Bar launches Organic Energy Food pouches

Clif Bar & Co., a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods and drinks, introduced a new category in sports nutrition with CLIF® Organic Energy Food. Inspired by the home recipes of Team CLIF Bar athletes, including world-class ultrarunner Scott Jurek, each pouch is made from real food ingredients in delicious sweet or savory flavors.

Each recipe contains certified USDA Organic ingredients and is designed to capture the desire of athletes who want their sports nutrition to look and taste like the food they make at home. For example, the organic bananas in Banana Mango with Coconut provide both glucose and fructose for energy, while organic sunflower seed butter in Pizza Margherita delivers some fat and protein for longer-duration training and racing.

“Athletes are increasingly taking a simpler approach to performance nutrition, so we combined real food ingredients in a convenient, resealable pouch,” said Chris Randall, senior brand manager of the CLIF Performance Athlete Segment. “Our athletes say that these savory recipes help combat palate fatigue, allowing them to consume the nutrition their bodies need during longer-duration activities.”

CLIF Organic Energy Food sweet recipes are crafted for activities of one hour or more, while savory recipes also include small amounts of protein and fat beneficial for activities lasting two hours or longer. Team CLIF Bar athletes report that savory flavors help satisfy physiological cravings for electrolytes as well as emotional cravings for salty, comfort food and real food textures on-the-go.

“For years I had been wrapping vegan pizza to take on the trail during long runs, but I don’t always have the time to make it at home or access to a kitchen when I’m travelling,” said Jurek, seven-time Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run champion. “Having CLIF Organic Energy Food in convenient packaging means it’s easier to take performance nutrition with home-cooked taste everywhere I go.”

Each recipe is gluten-free and does not contain partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives. All recipes source ingredients that are not genetically engineered.

CLIF Organic Energy Food is available in four crave-worthy flavors:

  • Banana Beet with Ginger
  • Banana Mango with Coconut
  • Pizza Margherita
  • Sweet Potato with Sea Salt

All flavors are now available at sports retailers nationwide. (SRP: Sweet (90g) $2.29, Savory (120g) $2.99)

 

NBJ

Herbal supplements investigation broadens

The New York Attorney General took the herbal supplements investigation to a new level this week, writing to four major supplement manufacturers requesting “cooperation” in the form of extensive paperwork tracing the country of origin, vendor and analytic testing for each ingredient.

Identical letters sent to NBTY, Pharmavite, Nature’s Way and Nutraceutical Corp. included such stern language as “The contamination, substitution, or false labeling of herbal products would constitute a deceptive business practice and, even more troublingly, could expose conusmers to unacceptable health risks.” The letter goes on to request extensive information, including supply chain information, testing documentation, descriptions of all procedures in place to verify ingredients, steps taken to comply with GMPs, bioterrorism registration documents, and copies of all correspondence with the FDA. The letter also asks for “copies of all reports, complaints, or other documents reflecting adverse health consequences.”

The letters are the latest development in a story that began three weeks ago with the attorney general sending “cease and desist” letters to Walmart, Walgreens, Target and GNC, charging that herbal products sold in the stores did not contain the listed ingredients.

Both the United Natural Products Alliance and the Natural Products Associations quickly issued strongly worded responses questioning the attorney general’s move.

In his statement, UNPA President Loren Israelsen called the letters “a gross injustice” that damns the companies by mere mention and “places a pall of suspicion over these companies.”

“This is a massive fishing expedition and highly disruptive to these companies’ daily operations that are all part of the clearly defined federal regulatory structure for dietary supplements,” Israelsen’s statement read.

NPA Director Dan Fabricant was even more outspoken. In a statement issued last night, Fabricant questioned whether the attorney general was “more motivated by generating headlines and plaintiff’s cases than by protecting the public health.”

Fabricant pointed out that all the information requested is available to the FDA and that the attorney general should not attempt to enforce regulations “which do not fall within his authority and are already handled by the regulators within the federal government.” Questioning why the attorney general’s office has not released information on testing procedures and results, Fabricant’s statement holds that, “As the attorney general’s actions evolve, it’s imperative that we continue demanding transparency and requesting his office release the study data.”

Comments from NBTY and Nature's Way, reached today, were less confrontational but still questioned the New York prosecutor's actions. Travis Borchardt, Nature's Way vice president for regulatory affairs and quality assurance, said the requests were not suited to the matter at hand. "We’ll attempt to have some dialog directly with their office. How do you define an herbal dietary supplement – one with 50 vitamins and minerals and one herb?" Borchardt asked. "I can send them reams and reams and reams of documents for the 2,000 SKUs."

In contrast, the FDA is informed and experienced. Its two-week GMP inspection of the Nature's Way facility was detailed, demanding and to the point. "We don’t send a set of documents consisting of thousands of pages to their office," Borchardt said, pointing out that Nature's Way has GMP certification and passes the even demanding standards of Australia's Therepeutic Goods Administration.

However, justified or not, the letter may already be damaging the company. "We’ve already gotten inquiries from our consumer base that's misinterpreting the letter to us in a way that would indicate they have data indicating our products are not compliant," Borchardt said, noting that earning back trust is "an uphill battle now."

In its response, an NBTY statement pointed to the GMP standards the company already meets and the resources commited. "We also have more than 300 quality control professionals whose primary responsibility within the company is to take actions that ensure our quality standards are maintained," the statement read.

Fabricant, Israelsen and others have noted out that the DNA bar coding test used in the investigation are not valid for herbal extracts because the DNA in the ingredients is destroyed by the extraction process. Fabricant has pointed out that the FDA issued a statement to that effect shortly after the New York Times article, which apparently inspired the current investigation, was published in 2013. The New Yorker’s headline read “How Not to Test a Dietary Supplement” but the New York Times has published little on questions related to the testing procedure, limiting any detailed discussion to an Associated Press story on Feb. 8

UNPA has sent product samples from all the lots in question to labs for independent testing and promises peer-reviewed results with experts available to comment on the results.