The Organic Trade Association (OTA), as part of its All Things Organic Conference Track, hosted a session at Expo East on the state of the organic industry. A panel of speakers provided updates on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and other issues. The panel included moderator Samuel Fromartz, editor in chief of the Food and Environment Reporting Network; Doug Crabtree, farmer and co-owner of Vilicus Farms; Anne Alonzo, administrator of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service; Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group and Laura Batcha, executive director and CEO of OTA.

Reports and key takeaways from Expo East 2014.

Some 23,000 natural products industry members convened at the 29th annual Natural Products Expo East, held September 17–20 at the Baltimore Convention Center. More than 1,275 exhibitors attended the show, and many product trends were evident at this year’s event. Gluten-free foods, for instance, continue to be a hot commodity.

WholeFoods Magazine gave trophies to its 2014 Natural Choice Award Winners at Expo East.

The natural products industry has lost a generous and ambitious leader with the passing of Jeremy Thaler. Along with his wife, Connie Potter, Thaler founded Once Again Nut Butter in 1976, the culmination of a life dedicated to the concept of community on multiple levels.

Rehovot, Israel—A recent study published in Nature suggests that artificial sweeteners may be playing a role in the obesity epidemic, but some are questioning the findings.

Washington, D.C. — Several groups and organizations, including the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and Natural Products Association (NPA) are challenging legal action made by the FTC against marketing for Bayer Healthcare’s Phillips’ Colon Health probiotic supplement.

WholeFoods Magazine recently published a digital story in error regarding the Natural Products Association. This piece was quickly removed and retracted, and we regret any unintended problems this may have caused. 

 

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, Oct. 10. 2014

Sacramento, CA—The first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags has been signed into law in California. By July 2015, grocery stores and supermarkets will no longer be allowed to offer plastic bags to customers. Convenience stores face the same ban starting in July 2016.