Promotions, new hires, retirements and more.

Silver Spring, MD—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on companies selling over-the-counter (OTC) HCG as weight-loss aids by making the product illegal, citing that fads and diets promising fast weight-loss often do so with unsupported claims and potentially unhealthy ways.

Harvests of maize, rice and wheat, the three leading grain crops in the world, last year came in at levels below those of 2008, marking an overall dip in production. While both maize and rice set record production highs, the dramatic drop-off in wheat production left the total for all three lower, according to research found in Vital Signs Online, a publication of the Worldwatch Institute.

Savannah, GA—The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the policy recommendation body for the National Organic Program (NOP), decided on several organic food issues at its most recent meeting, including sulfites in wine, outdoor access for poultry and, controversially, DHA algal oil and ARA fungal oil as organic additives. The move to allow Martek Biosciences Corporation’s branded life’sDHA ingredient, derived from algae, and life’sARA, from a species of fungus, in certified organic food products was met with some criticism.

News from industry food companies.

How do you create an effective end cap? Here are a few tips.

1. An end cap is promotional, so you should refresh it at least once per month.
2. Pick your theme first, like “Heart Health Month” for February.
3. Use a visual design concept based on the theme, such as pink hearts, to increase “wow” factor.
4. Less is more. Select fewer products, and stock them deeper than usual.

The organic food industry should be on alert for five fraudulent organic certificates circulating in the market, according to the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). The certificates falsely represent a slew of products from producers in various countries, including blueberries, cranberries and other berries from Russia; green coffee, green tea and hot chocolate from China; bell peppers and tomatoes from the Dominican Republic; several products including honey, teas, seeds and spices from Kuwait; and various other vegetables from another Chinese company.

Orlando, FLVitamin C is necessary for everyone, although one study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011 suggests daily intake is even more important for those with existing heart conditions.

Fukuoka, Japan—Researchers from Japan’s Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences at Kyushu University and Daiichi Sangyo Co., Ltd., have discovered a possible anti-cancer agent in brown seaweed.