Legal Tips

It’s tax time and you very diligently submit your tax return to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Of course, being the diligent person that you are, you quite properly expect a tax refund from the IRS because you have paid more than your share of taxes on your income. Yet when the mail arrives, you get a nasty shock. There is no refund check in the IRS envelope addressed to you. Instead, there is a short notice letting you know that you have already filed and the refund was paid out to you.

It has been two days since my plane landed in New Jersey from California, and I’m still exhausted. I, like a huge majority of WholeFoods readers, attended Natural Products Expo West, the largest and arguably most influential tradeshow in the natural products industry. It’s the event that can make or break new brands, help industry veterans forge meaningful connections and fuel the minds of attendees with fresh ideas for months to come.

Jonny Bowden

Having just returned from the trade show Expo West—that Roman orgy of “natural” food products put on annually at the Anaheim Convention Center—I feel compelled to take on a subject that was very much on my mind as I surveyed the thousands of products on display: the utter BS that you see on labels. Sadly, this includes many “natural” foods and supplements.

karen howard organic natural health association

The Organic & Natural Health Association is taking a proactive approach, launching a consumer education campaign and nutrient research agenda, starting with peer-reviewed, published research on the power of vitamin D. 

Adam Goodman. NPA East

Lobbying efforts at both the national and state levels have been effective (so far) at keeping the legislative wolves at bay. However, as 2016 unfolds (in a presidential election cycle no less), investigations are underway in as many as 12 states (and territories), and hearings have been taking place on Capitol Hill.

Consumer Bulletin

Bad moods can come and go throughout our daily grind. It might be a spilled coffee followed by a stubbed toe that sets you off. But sometimes, prolonged high-pressure situations can lead to blues that just aren’t lifting.

Vitamin Connection

Let’s complete our discussion of the health benefits and safety of low-carb, high-fat “ketogenic” diets with Eric Westman, M.D., MHS. In January, we discussed the clinical benefits obtained with real people in the real world of low-carb, high-fat diets. In February, we examined how ketogenic diets work to improve health. However, many people have been misled about dietary fat and cholesterol who needlessly fear that ketogenic diets may be a health risk. Clinical studies and real-world experience have shown the opposite to be true.

Merchandising Insights

WholeFoods Magazine’s annual retailer survey, published each December, reveals tremendous detail about the variety of independent U.S. natural products stores. At my recent survey seminar for the Southeast Natural Products Association SOHO tradeshow in Orlando, attendees asked me to “build” a model using examples from the survey so retailers could see the impact on the final store. So, let’s build a store!


I’m no product formulator, but I bet it’s pretty common to say, every so often, “Hey, what the Joneses are doing down the street is pretty smart. Let’s try to do it, too.” Copycat products are launched all the time, and it’s usually not remarkable. Unless, the second-string player in the game had previously called foul—very loudly—on an all-star member of the team.