dietary supplements

Washington, D.C.—Several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency held a joint press conference on Nov. 17 to announce sweeping actions against several dietary supplement manufacturers “to stem the tide of unlawful dietary supplements being sold to consumers nationwide,” stated Benjamin Mizer, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the civil division.

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picamilon

Citing frustration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “failure to respond,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has taken a hands-on approach to the controversy over picamilon—that it does not fit the definition of a dietary ingredient—and directly addressed 10 major retailers to stop selling dietary supplements with the substance.

Whole Foods Market (WFM) announced its 4Q15 and 2015 fiscal earnings on November 4, 2015 (year end September 27). According to a report by Market Realist, WFM had $15.3 billion in sales for the whole year, an 8.4% rise. However, at the end of this last quarter, they took a 56% hit in net profit, earning $56 million, compared to $128 million this quarter last year. The hit in net profit was due in part to increased operating expenses which grew 3% since 4Q14 to 32%.

Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reached out for public comment about the use of the term “natural” on food labels. The Natural Products Association (NPA) responded yesterday, welcoming FDA efforts toward defining “natural.” As part of their Natural Seal program, NPA has already certified 800 products and 500 ingredients, in the home and personal care categories, as truly natural. However, there is yet to be an established definition for the term “natural,” nor is there yet a program to certify food as natural.