HEALTH

Bausch & Lomb promotes Biotrue with contest

BY Allison Cerra

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Bausch & Lomb is promoting its latest lens care product by encouraging Americans to find visual inspiration in their surroundings.

The company said it tapped journalist Lisa Ling to promote its Biotrue multi-purpose solution and its “Inspiration in Your Eyes” contest, where consumers can share a story about the U.S. location most visually inspiring to them. The grand prize winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to one of the top 10 most visually inspiring places in the United States. Additionally, Bausch & Lomb is offering free admission on Friday, Aug. 13, to visitors at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco with an unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Space Needle in Seattle and the John Hancock Observatory in Chicago, as well as free ferry tickets to view the Statue of Liberty in New York.

“My work as a journalist has afforded me the opportunity to travel to some of the most visually inspiring sites in the world,” said Lisa Ling, global traveler and host of National Geographic’s “Ultimate Explorer.” “I am thrilled to be a part of the Biotrue brand initiative to encourage Americans to find visual inspiration by exposing them to breathtaking imagery at some of the finest attractions in our country.”

Added Lisa VanDeMark, VP brand marketing, U.S. vision care, Bausch & Lomb, “Just as we sought inspiration from the eye in developing Biotrue, we are encouraging consumers to embrace visual inspiration and recognize the importance of healthy lens care.”

Biotrue, featuring a clear bottle that allows you to track how much solution remains, comes in a range of sizes and can be found at most nationwide food, drug and mass retailers.

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Lansinoh unveils Affinity double electric breast pump

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Lansinoh has introduced its latest breast-feeding tools in line with National Breast-feeding Awareness Month.

The new Lansinoh Affinity double electric breast pump allows breast-feeding mothers to provide breastmilk from both breasts simultaneously.

“For a breast-feeding mom who wants to continue to provide breastmilk for her baby upon returning to work, expressing her milk is necessary to keep up her milk supply and is one way that she can leave her milk behind for her baby,” said Gina Ciagne, certified lactation counselor and director of breast-feeding and consumer relations for Lansinoh. “Essentially, a pump is designed to mimic as closely as possible the way a baby feeds. It signals the body to release the milk by stimulation to the breast. Make no mistake, pumping can never completely replicate a baby feeding at the breast, though it is important that a pump be as efficient as possible to comfortably stimulate milk let-down.”

The breast pump carries a suggested retail price of $150 and is available at Walmart and other retailers nationwide.

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CRN head weighs in on dietary supplement industry attack in USA Today op-ed

BY Michael Johnsen

McLEAN, Va. The Council for Responsible Nutrition’s president and CEO Steve Mister supplied the “opposing view” to a USA Today opinion piece published online Thursday regarding a recent Consumer Reports attack on the dietary supplement industry.

At issue is the public misconception that dietary supplements are unregulated. “While many users believe that sale of unsafe or ineffective supplements must be illegal, it is not,” USA Today opined, citing the Consumer Reports report. “The public has little protection from useless, fraudulent, dangerous or even deadly products, thanks to special protection Congress gave the industry in 1994.”

“Truth is, the Food and Drug Administration already has ample authority to regulate this industry,” Mister countered. “What it needs to do is use it. Look how quickly [the FDA] removed a popular weight-loss product last year, and how aggressively it targeted false cures for H1N1 influenza. [The] FDA can seize adulterated supplements, detain questionable ingredients at the border, ban products that pose significant risks of injury or illness and use criminal sanctions of the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act to prosecute those who market unsafe supplements.”

Opinions of regulation aside, Consumer Reports outlined problems with a dozen considered-to-be-dangerous herbal supplements — none of which would make any mass retailer’s bestseller list. “The media circus surrounding the latest issue of Consumer Reports implicates the entire aisle of mainstream dietary supplements based on 12 ingredients that combined make up less than 1% of the marketplace,” Mister noted. “Yet given the attention, one would think these 12 herbs represent the mainstream dietary supplement aisle at your neighborhood pharmacy. They do not. If any of these 12 ingredients is truly unsafe, then [the] FDA should ban its use,” Mister added.

“Spokesmen for the self-described ‘responsible’ part of the industry claim that the limited powers given the [FDA] are adequate to protect the public,” USA Today wrote. “But the record says otherwise. It’s so hard for [the] FDA to ban a product, that only one such case has ever succeeded,” the opinion continued, referencing the ban on ephedra sales in 2004.

However, two of the “supplement-use horror stories” cited by USA Today to support its argument don’t involve supplements at all, but illegally marketed adulterated drugs. In one case, USA Today identified a student athlete who bought a performance supplement online purporting to be legal and later wound up in the hospital with liver failure due to the steroid included within the supplement. However, a product adulterated with an illegal steroid, by definition, is an adulterated drug product, regardless of how it is marketed.

In another case cited by USA Today, an Oklahoma woman bought a treatment for Lyme disease that turned her skin blue. Again, according to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 that the USA Today opinion suggested protects industry, supplement manufacturers cannot legally make disease-state claims.

“People will always yearn for a magic elixir, which is why supplements, like drugs, shouldn’t be allowed on store shelves [until] they’ve been proven safe and effective,” the USA Today opinion piece concluded.

“Calls for premarket approval show a disregard for consumers who want access to a wide variety of supplement products,” Mister countered. “Consumers should talk to their doctors or other healthcare professionals about any of the supplements they use to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That’s good advice regardless of the law.”

For the full USA Today opinion, click here.

For CRN’s full response, click here.

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