HEALTH

Industry praises passage of Food Safety Modernization Act by House

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Food Safety Modernization Act by a vote of 215-144 to wide industry aplomb.

The bill now only needs President Barack Obama’s signature to become law.

If signed into law, the food safety bill will require biennial registration of all food manufacturing facilities, will provide the Food and Drug Administration with new authority to mandate food recalls and will require companies to develop food safety plans.

“Food retailers and wholesalers believe that given today’s global marketplace, it is critical to provide the FDA with the authority to recall products when necessary,” stated Food Marking Institute president and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “We also support the use of third-party certification programs and the requirement that every food manufacturer or producer develop and employ food safety plans.”

“The dietary supplement industry, which is regulated as a category of food under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, is committed to supporting efforts that ensure consumers have access to safe and high-quality dietary supplement products,” stated Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition. “CRN and its member companies have supported this bill because of the added enforcement tools it provides to [the] FDA and the extra protections it provides for consumers.”

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NPA awards 500th NPA Natural Seal certification

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Natural Products Association last week reached a new milestone — awarding the 500th certification to products and ingredients under the NPA Natural Seal, a certification program focused on the verification of natural products and ingredients.

“The NPA certification program has been a huge success, with hundreds of products and ingredients earning our coveted natural seal,” stated John Gay, NPA executive director and CEO. “The NPA Natural Seal is quickly growing in visibility and consumer awareness nationwide. Brands that have been certified by NPA know the value that the NPA seal brings to an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

The NPA Natural Seal helps consumers easily identify products that meet the NPA’s standard of “natural.” All personal care and home care products with the NPA Natural Seal are at least 95% natural, excluding water.

In 2008, NPA launched the Natural Standard for Personal Care Products, certifying both ingredients and products that meet NPA’s standard of natural. This year, NPA launched the Natural Standard for Home Care Products, with a similar standard for certifying foods expected next year. These standards support the NPA Natural Seal.

“The NPA Natural Seal has set a high bar for truly natural products, and we are committed to strengthening the Natural Standard in the years to come,” said Cara Welch, NPA scientific and regulatory affairs manager. “People everywhere are making the choice to go natural with what they eat, what they put on their bodies, and what they use in their homes. NPA is helping these consumers every day by identifying products that are truly natural.”

For a list of products and ingredients, visit TheNaturalSeal.org.

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CRN/AANP/AANPF initiative emphasizes role of NPs in health care

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Monday announced plans for a joint education effort with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Foundation to help raise the level of awareness within the supplement industry and with consumers about the valuable role of nurse practitioners in the quest for good health.

“As this country’s healthcare needs continue to evolve, consumers are looking for ways to be proactive with their health, and more and more consumers may find themselves turning to a nurse practitioner,” stated Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO. “We know from research from the ‘Life…supplemented’ ‘Healthcare Professionals Impact Study’ that nurse practitioners both personally use and professionally recommend dietary supplements as part of a healthy lifestyle. These factors make it important for our industry to support the professional organization for nurse practitioners and for us to work with them to further educate the public about nurse practitioners.”

As part of the CRN/AANP/AANPF initiative, CRN will add information to its website, including fact sheets and press releases, providing consumers with more information about nurse practitioners and the services they offer. A recent survey conducted by AANP found that most consumers had direct contact or knew someone who had direct contact with a nurse practitioner, yet most were still unaware of the services provided. “Our goal will be to work with AANP and AANPF as part of its own outreach efforts to elevate awareness of nurse practitioners and the important healthcare services they provide consumers,” Mister said. “We want consumers to know nurse practitioners can be a trusted source of health information.”

According to survey results from the 2009 "Life…supplemented" "Healthcare Professionals Impact Study," 87% of nurse practitioners agreed that dietary supplements can play an important role in improving or maintaining the health of their patients. Additionally, 100% of nurse practitioners surveyed reported having a conversation about supplements with a patient, including 55% who indicated that they had initiated the conversation.

“This tells us nurse practitioners are playing an active, important role with consumers,” Mister noted. “As consumers seek ways to improve their overall health, they will likely look to their nurse practitioners to help determine which supplements are right for them. We appreciate that nurse practitioners are prepared to engage their patients in meaningful dialogue on the subject of being healthy, and because of that, we expect these healthcare providers will continue to take an increasingly vital and visible role in modern medicine.”

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