HEALTH

Fresh & Easy gets green

BY Allison Cerra

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Just in time for Earth Day, Fresh & Easy has introduced its private-label household cleaning and paper products.

The retailer’s Green Things line, which now is available in stores, features household cleaners that are made with plant-based formulas, are biodegradable and pH-neutral, and also are made without such chemicals as 1,4-dioxane, phosphates, dyes or perfumes.

Green Things also includes paper products that are made from 100% recycled paper (with a minimum of 80% post-consumer content), and are packaged in a plastic film that degrades in just 18 months.

"We set out to develop Green Things as an affordable range of environmentally friendly household cleaner and paper products that are sure to get the job done right," said John Burry, Fresh & Easy’s chief commercial officer. "Like all Fresh & Easy products, our customers know Green Things is a range of quality products they can trust."

Fresh & Easy Green Things household cleaners lineup includes:

  • Ultra dish liquid (grapefruit and pear) in a 25 fl.-oz. size for $1.99;

  • All purpose cleaner, 22 fl.-oz. size for $2.49;

  • Window and glass cleaner, 22 fl.-oz. size for $2.49;

  • Toilet bowl cleaner, 24 fl.-oz. size for $2.49;

  • Automatic dish gel, 40 fl.-oz. size for $3.49; and

  • Laundry detergent (lavender and lemongrass), 100 fl.-oz. size for $8.99.

Fresh & Easy Green Things paper products now available in stores include:

  • Bath tissue, four-roll count for $2.79;

  • Bath tissue, 12-roll count for $6.99;

  • Paper towels, single roll for $1.79;

  • Paper towels six-roll count for $4.99;

  • Napkins, 200 count for $1.59; and

  • Facial tissue cube, 85 count, $1.29.

 

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OHA: Organic industry experienced strong growth in 2010

BY Allison Cerra

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — The organic industry grew at a rate of nearly 8% to more than $28.6 billion, according to a recent survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association.

"While total U.S. food sales grew by less than 1% in 2010, the organic food industry grew by 7.7%," said Christine Bushway, OTA’s CEO and executive director. "Consumers continue to vote with their dollars in favor of the organic choice. These results illustrate the positive contribution organic agriculture and trade make to our economy, and particularly to rural livelihoods."

Bushway added that big winners were organic fruits and vegetables, which increase nearly 12% to $10.6 billion in 2010, followed by organic dairy, which experienced a value of $3.9 billion, and captured almost 6% of the total U.S. market for dairy products. For the organic non-food sector, organic supplements led with a value of $681 million, representing 7.4% growth over 2009 figures.

The OTA, the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America, said that its 63-page 2011 organic industry survey report now is available for purchase. For more information, click here.

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FDA warns companies to stop making MRSA claims for over-the-counter products

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday issued four warning letters to companies that manufacture and market over-the-counter drug products, including hand sanitizers, that claim to prevent infection from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, or MRSA.

Labeling and marketing materials for the affected products also claim that they can prevent infection from other disease-causing agents. In addition, the labeling of some of the firms’ hand-sanitizing drug products make claims related to preventing infection from E.coli and/or H1N1 flu virus. The FDA does not have sufficient evidence demonstrating that these products are safe and effective for these purposes.

"MRSA is a serious public health threat," stated Deborah Autor, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "The FDA cannot allow companies to mislead consumers by making unproven prevention claims."

The FDA warning letters were sent to the following firms:

  • Tec Labs for StaphAseptic first-aid antiseptic/pain-relieving gel;

  • JD Nelson and Associates for Safe4Hours hand-sanitizing lotion and Safe4Hours first-aid antiseptic skin protectant;

  • Dr. G.H. Tichenor Antiseptic Co. for Dr. Tichenor’s antiseptic gel; and

  • Oh So Clean, doing business as CleanWell Co., for CleanWell all-natural foaming hand sanitizer, CleanWell all-natural hand sanitizer, CleanWell all-natural hand sanitizing wipes and CleanWell all-natural antibacterial foaming hand soap.

The warning letters explain that the companies are marketing these products in violation of federal law.

The companies have 15 days to correct the violations cited in the warning letters. Failure to do so may result in legal action, including seizure and injunction, the agency stated.

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