Las Vegas, NV—Three raw materials suppliers were named the winners of the SupplySide West 2011 Scientific Excellence Awards. The tradeshow was held October 10–14, here. The recipients were selected based on their ingredients’ “science/research methods, scientific breakthrough, innovation and appeal for the manufacturing community.”

Elmwood Park, NJ—After an investigation that began in 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has come down hard on some defendants that made weight-loss claims for the herb, hoodia. FTC claims the group claimed its ingredient could treat obesity (an unsubstantiated health claim), suppress appetite, reduce caloric intake and more; the ingredient didn’t always contain authentic Hoodia gordonii.

Washington, D.C.—In a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), U.S. Senator and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged inquiry into whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is effectively implementing dietary supplement safety legislation passed in 2006.

Brattleboro, VT—More American families than ever before are adding organic products to their weekly shopping lists, says the Organic Trade Association (OTA). In the 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study by the OTA, 1,300 families were polled about their feelings and buying habits when it comes to organic products. Four in 10 families said they are buying more organic foods than they were in the year prior. Of these families who have made the switch, three in 10 are brand new to the market.

Acquisitions, mergers, awards, charity work, certifications, company news and more.

News from industry food companies.

Doha, Qatar—An estimated 300 million people across the globe are suffering with asthma. Of those diagnosed, almost seven million are American children, according to The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.

Oslo, Norway—Studies have shown that the intake of recommended doses of folic acid (a naturally occurring B-vitamin) from the period before conception to early pregnancy can prevent neural tube birth defects. Now, Christine Roth, M.Sc., Clin.Psy.D., from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo has led a study (published October 12, 2011 by JAMA) that investigated whether maternal use of folic acid supplements was associated with a reduced risk of severe language delay in children at age three years.

In this month's issue, you’ll find WholeFoods’ 34th Annual Retailer Survey. There’s lots of good news to report. Smaller stores, those under 2,600 square feet, which have struggled the last few years, showed signs of strength, reporting higher sales, profits and larger basket sizes. Overall, two main trends emerged from the survey.