HOUSTON, Nov. 17 -- Omega Protein Corporation(NYSE: OME), the world's largest manufacturer of fish oils containing healthy long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids, is pleased to announce that GFA Brands, Inc. has introduced SmartBalance(R) OmegaPlus, a buttery spread fortified with Omega-3s from the sea. SmartBalance(R) OmegaPlus is available in stores across the nation and contains OmegaPure(R), a taste-free, Omega-3-rich fish oil manufactured by Omega Protein Corporation. The buttery spread also contains natural plant sterols with no hydrogenated oils or trans-fats, as well as both important long-chain fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from marine sources and ALA Omega-3s from plant sources.
OmegaPure(R) is a taste-free, organic, kosher, pure fish oil, and is the only fish oil-based source of long-chain Omega-3 essential fatty acids which has U.S. Food and Drug Administration direct GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for human consumption.
The American Heart Association has stated that a dietary (i.e., food- based) approach to increasing Omega-3 fatty acid intake is preferable tovtaking supplements. Research suggests that long-chain Omega-3s can help reduce the risk of heart disease, can lower blood pressure and decrease risk of sudden cardiac death and arrhythmia. Omega-3s also have been linked to treating depression, bipolar disease and postpartum depression -- in fact, the American Psychiatric Association recently formed a committee to consider Omega-3s as a treatment option to ease depression. Studies also suggest that Omega-3s may improve memory, reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, and help reduce the risk of certain cancers and kidney disorders.
"The health benefits of long-chain Omega-3s are indisputable," said Joe von Rosenberg, President and CEO of Omega Protein. "SmartBalance(R) OmegaPlus fortified with Omega-3-rich OmegaPure(R) tastes great and will be used as a dietary replacement for other spreads containing so-called 'bad fats.' We are optimistic that other food companies will follow this first national launch by introducing their own products fortified with healthy long-chain Omega-3s." "GFA is pleased to work with Omega Protein to bring this product to America's table," said Peter Dray, Vice President of GFA Brands, Inc. "People will find that they don't have to sacrifice taste to obtain foods which include healthy long-chain Omega-3s."
SmartBalance(R) Omega Plus fortified with OmegaPure(R) can easily be identified by the blue sleeve over the specially designed white plastic tub. The new buttery spread is available in many grocery stores for about $2.49 per 8-ounce tub. Recipes and food plans are available online at http://www.smartbalance.com .
Long-chain Omega-3s are primarily found in fatty fish oils, such as those derived from salmon and menhaden. OmegaPure(R) fish oil is derived from menhaden, a short-lived, surface-feeding, non-predatory fish that does not accumulate environmental toxins such as mercury and other pesticides.
Taste-free, odorless OmegaPure(R) is approved by the FDA as a direct GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) ingredient in a number of food categories, expanding the availability of essential long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids beyond fish and other seafood. OmegaPure is derived from short-lived, surface- feeding, non-predatory menhaden and does not accumulate environmental toxins such as mercury and other pesticides. OmegaPure(R) is certified organic and kosher. For more information on OmegaPure(R) and long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids, please visit http://www.omegapure.com .
ABOUT OMEGA PROTEIN CORPORATION
Omega Protein Corporation (NYSE: OME) is the nation's largest manufacturer of heart-healthy fish oils containing Omega-3 fatty acids for human consumption, as well as specialty fish meals and fish oil used as value-added ingredients in aquaculture, swine and other livestock feeds. Omega Protein makes its products from menhaden, an Omega-3 rich fish that is not utilized as seafood, but which is abundantly available along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coasts. For more information about Omega Protein, please visit http://www.omegaproteincorporation.com .
ABOUT GFA Brands, Inc.
GFA Brands, Inc. markets various foods under the Smart Balance, Smart Beat and other brand names. GFA is a licensee of Brandeis University for its patented oil blend to improve blood cholesterol.
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward- looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The actual results of future events described in any of these forward-looking statements could differ materially from those stated in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to be materially different from those forward-looking statements include, among others, (1) the Company's ability to meet its raw material requirements through its annual menhaden harvest, which is subject to fluctuations due to natural conditions over which the Company has no control, such as varying fish population, fish oil yields, adverse weather conditions and disease; (2) the impact of worldwide supply and demand relationships on prices for the Company's products; and (3) fluctuations in the Company's quarterly operating results due to the seasonality of the Company's business and its deferral of inventory sales based on worldwide prices for competing products. These and other factors are described in further detail in Omega's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its 2002 Annual Report on Form 10K under the headings, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Significant Factors That May Affect Forward-Looking Statements" and "-Seasonality and Quarterly Results."