New York, NY—Shoppers may not consider natural health and beauty care (HBC) products discretionary purchases; rather, they’re essential. According to market research firm Packaged Facts, sales in the natural HBC market hit $8.5 billion in 2011. This marks a double-digit growth (11%) since 2005.

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Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Defense announced it will not take any chances with supplements containing DMAA, as it has decided to pull such products from stores on its bases, according to Army Times. This ban included GNC shops on bases worldwide, and will stay in effect until an investigation is completed.

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Orlando, FL—The Southeast Natural Products Association (SENPA) held its annual SOHO Exhibition, here, in December. With over 300 exhibitors (including 100 new ones), the event was even bigger than last year. “Exhibits sold in [the 2011] show increased by 10% ending with a total of 320 companies participating,” stated Carylene Reed, executive director of SENPA. “The show sold out in October and we decided to add an additional eight booths to accommodate everyone.”

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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.

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Arlington Heights, IL—Carlson Laboratories is offering free red aprons to retailers to help raise awareness about women’s heart health.

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Washington, D.C.—The 15th Annual Natural Products Day (hosted by the Natural Products Association [NPA]) is slated to be held on Tuesday, March 27.

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The Conspiracy of Silence is not just limited to the political arena. At the 33rd session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), which ended its week-long meeting on Friday, November 18, its new Chairwoman, Pia Noble, had a definite problem in allowing the International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) such as the National Health Federation (NHF) to speak.

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Boston, MA—A new study of a branded brain function supplement (FOCUSfactor from Factor Nutrition Labs) showed the possibility of improved memory, concentration and focus for subjects taking the supplement after six weeks.

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

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Washington, D.C.—Pizza is a vegetable, right? According to Congress, it should be. Congress’ proposed changes to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-mandated school lunch programs have some people questioning whether the government has our children’s or our corporations’ best interests in mind.

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