The drug companies had a problem. They always have a problem, but this one looked huge. For some time, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) whistleblower had been helping Brian Hooker, Ph.D., uncover data manipulation by the CDC that showed deliberate suppression of scientific evidence linking autism to vaccines among African-American babies.

In early February, consumers who bought herbal supplements in New York were left wondering, “Was that really St. John’s Wort in my bottle?” NY Attorney General (NYAG) Eric T. Schneiderman announced DNA testing of herbal supplements purchased at GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreens, produced unfavorable results. The active herbs were not found in the tested products, and filler herbs were used in their place, the NYAG stated. Based on the results, he insisted through cease-and-desist letters that the tested herbal products be pulled from shelves.

The famous French quote, “Il faut souffrir pour être belle” (“You must suffer to be beautiful”) shouldn’t apply to your makeup. While conventional products may make shoppers feel more attractive, they are wreaking havoc below the surface. If your customers experience eye, skin and lip irritation or other uncomfortable reactions from makeup, tell them to use what their skin, lip and eyes are crying out for: natural make-up.

The natural products industry mourns one of its greatest trailblazers with the loss of Gerald Kessler, who has passed away at the age of 80.

News and notes from industry suppliers.

Two research groups independently collected data on branded probiotic strains and generated some interesting results.

Newport Beach, CA—A new pilot study sponsored by BioCell Technology suggested its branded type II collagen (BioCell Collagen) may support recovery after exercise.

Oslo, Norway—Researchers from Maastricht University, The Netherlands, have published data in Cardiovascular Biology and Cell Signalling suggesting that vitamin K2 supports cardiovascular health.

This year makes it a (gluten-free) baker’s dozen as we honor our winners in the 13th annual Natural Choice Awards. Natural products in 18 categories were voted on by our readers, and we’ve come away with a truly impressive group of winners and runners up, including several multiple-time Natural Choice Award winners. There are some newcomers to the party as well.