Part 6: Legal & Regulatory (Jan. 2005)

Companies in the News: Fonterra, National Foods, Body Wise International, Council for Responsible Nutrition,, American Herbal Products Association, Biotec foods, Vitarich Labs, Strauss Herbs.

1/28/2005 - Leavitt Appointed to HHS: Durbin Affirms Commitment to AERs
According to a release issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the US Senate has confirmed Michael Leavitt as the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Also noted in the AHPA release, Leavitt acknowledges that DSHEA is a good law, Sen. Hatch urges the completion of pending GMP's, and Sen. Durbin notes securing the new secretary's promise to review pending legislation on AER's.


1/25/2005 - UK Fights EU Over Health Foods
The British Health Food Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Health Stores and the Alliance for Natural Health have taken their case against the European Union over proposed tightening of controls for natural remedies, vitamin supplements and minerals to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg today, claiming that the proposed legislation seriously threatens access to several thousand currently available products. According to the article on Skynews, this legislation has "already prompted a petition of more than a million signatures, a letter of protest to Tony Blair from more than 300 doctors and scientists and motions from both Houses of Parliament."


1/19/2005 - ACCC clears Fonterra's bid for National Foods
According to an article on, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is not going to oppose New Zealand-based dairy company, Fonterra's proposed acquisition of Australia-based National Foods.


1/19/2005 - Body Wise International to Pay to Settle Federal and State Deceptive Advertising Charges
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and California District and State attorneys have announced settlements with Body Wise International, Inc., relating to allegations of deceptive advertising for the company's “AG-Immune” dietary supplement. FTC's proposed settlement, if approved by the court, requires Body Wise to pay a $2 million civil penalty to the FTC, California’s proposed settlement would require Body Wise to pay the State of California an additional $1.58 million in penalties and costs.


1/13/2005 - FTC Urged to Investigate Purported Consumer Watchdog
US-based trade association, The Council for Responsible Nutrition has petitioned the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate’s business practices, which it claims are deceptive. Specifically, CRN is asking the FTC to make 1) make public all future test results regardless of whether companies have paid money to; 2) release testing criteria and methodologies in advance; 3) identify the contract laboratories that actually do its testing; and 4) change its name to one that does not imply that it does its own testing.


1/11/2005 - AHPA Comments on FDA’s Draft Guidance on Claim Substantiation: Focus on Relevance of Traditional Use Evidence
US-based trade association, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has filed comments with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to request that FDA recognize the value of credible information on the traditional use of herbs in substantiating structure/function claims for products that contain herbs.


1/10/2005 - Biotec Foods Sues Vitarich Labs
US-based Biotec Foods, a division of Agrigenic Food Corp, has announced it has filed a lawsuit alleging that US-based alleging that Vitarich Laboratories has conspired to violate Agrigenic's registered and common law trademarks in spite of an existing U.S. District Court order and injunction which prohibited the activity.

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1/7/2005 - B.C. Herb Company Takes on Health Canada
According to an article in the Vancouver Sun, British Columbia-based Strauss Herbs is suing Health Canada, alleging that the government's claims that Strauss was using fraudulent and deceitful advertising, caused a drop in sales and damaged the company's reputation. Several months ago, the company was acquitted of 70 charges of improper labeling.


1/5/2005 - India's Cabinet Gives Nod for Homeopathy Bill
According to an article on India's, the Union Cabinet has given clearance for a bill seeking to amend that country's Homeopathy Central Council Act (1973), to empower the central government to issue directions to the Central Council of Homeopathy when required, and for the Centre to remove the President and nominated members if they are found deficient in discharging their duties. According to the article, the bill, which is intended to improve the quality of Homeopathic education, will be introduced into Parliament in the near future.


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