Washington, D.C.—It’s déjà vu for hemp supporters as a bill supporting hemp farming in the United States has been reintroduced in Congress. If passed, the bill would end a 50+-year ban on hemp farming.

Rockville, MD—If the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations has its way, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will have less cash in fiscal year 2012.

Austin, TX—Continuing an upward trend apparent since 2003, sales of herbal supplements grew in 2010, according to a report published in the HerbalGram (published by the American Botanical Council). 2010 herb sales were $5.2 billion, marking a 3.3% increase over 2009 figures.

Chico, CA—Three large plastic bag makers are suing ChicoBag Company, claiming that the eco-friendly company has caused irreparable harm to their businesses.

Bridgewater, NJNational Starch, based here, completed a study indicating its Hi-maize resistant starch could benefit those with prediabetes.

New York, NY—Researchers based at the University of Utah Brain Institute have collected data they believe supports the use of a branded citicoline (Cognizin from Kyowa Hakko, based here) for improving attention.

Rockville, MD—Companies will now have an easier time finding information about U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) facility inspections and court actions.

In April, we chatted with John J. Cannell, M.D., about the function of vitamin D and the recent developments that affect our need to increase our dietary intake of vitamin D. This month, we will discuss optimizing our vitamin D intake.

Recently, I had the pleasure of flying across half the world and back so that I could attend two different, back-to-back Codex meetings at both ends of the trip. That was the fun part. The hard part was reconciling the supposedly disparate concepts embodied in these two Codex committees as they worked on standards for food additives and contaminants in food.