HEALTH

ConsumerLab.com poll rates best supplement brands and merchants

BY Michael Johnsen

WESTCHESTER, N.Y. ConsumerLab.com last month released a consumer poll ranking brands and merchants on overall consumer satisfaction.

Top-rated supplement brands:

  • Brand in Health Food Stores: Nordic Naturals
  • Brand in Mass Market Stores: Nature Made (Pharmavite)
  • Catalogue Brand: Life Extension Foundation
  • Direct Distributor Brand: Nutrilite
  • Healthcare Practitioner Brand: Pure Encapsulations
  • Pharmacy Brand: CVS
  • Vitamin & Specialty Store Brand: Vitamin World
  • Warehouse Brand: Kirkland (Costco) 

Top-rated supplement merchants:

  • Catalogue: Puritan’s Pride
  • Direct Distributor: Nutrilite
  • Grocery Store: Trader Joe’s
  • Mass Market: Target
  • Online Retailer: iherb.com
  • Pharmacy: Walgreens
  • Vitamin Store: Vitamin World
  • Warehouse Store: Costco

As many as 6,000 dietary supplement users completed the online survey, ConsumerLab.com reported. 

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HEALTH

Valentine’s Day increases chocolate sales

BY Diana Alickaj

NEW YORK The one thing most people expect on Valentine’s Day is the classic box of chocolates. The Nielsen Co. agrees, and due to a report released recently, the company predicts that U.S. consumers will purchase an estimated $323 million in chocolate candy this week.

Based on supermarket sales, top cities that sell chocolate are Atlanta, Denver, Cincinnati, Louisville, Houston and Dallas. According to Nielsen, chocolate, which is ranked number one for chocolate candy sales, is not the only purchase that is expected to be increasing this Valentines Day. The report also stated that more pregnancy and infertility test kits are sold approximately 6 weeks after Valentines Day than any other time of the year.

In addition, sales of sparkling wine are higher on Valentine’s Day as well as premium-priced rose wine, which according to the company signifies that Valentine’s Day is indeed a holiday during which consumers choose to splurge.

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CHFA disputes report that new law will lead to deceptive labeling

BY Michael Johnsen

TORONTO The Canadian Health Food Association on Tuesday took exception to a Globe and Mail report published Monday that suggested dietary supplement manufacturers will soon be able to run roughshod over Health Canada in making disease state claims on behalf of dietary supplements.

“The changes to the federal rules, which take effect June 1, represent a significant boost for the natural health industry, which is eager to increase its credibility and capitalize on a booming market for vitamins and botanical supplements by directly marketing their health claims to consumers,” Carly Weeks writes for the Globe and Mail. “But medical experts and consumer advocates warn the federal government’s decision could result in a flood of deceptive claims about natural health products that are backed up by inadequate or even flawed scientific evidence.”

“The article … misinformed the reader into thinking Health Canada was at the mercy of natural health product manufacturers,” complained CHFA president and chief executive officer Penelope Marritt in a letter-to-the-editor, addressed to the Globe and Mail, and posted on the association’s web site. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

At question are some revisions made to Canada’s Food and Drug Act that will allow manufacturers to apply to Health Canada to make claims they have not been able to make in the past, such as “helps in the prevention of cancer,” for example. “Modifying Schedule A gives natural health product suppliers the ability to apply to Health Canada to make treatment, prevention and/or cure claims for certain disorders and diseases,” Marritt wrote. “Natural health suppliers must continue to meet product licensing requirements under the Natural Health Products Regulations and at the same time, continue to substantiate any preventative claim with sufficient levels of evidence.”

Consequently, consumers are still protected from fraudulent product claims and encouraged to seek appropriate medical treatment for serious conditions, Marritt argued.

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