News and notes from industry suppliers.

Durban, South Africa—The year in environmental news has involved numerous high-profile natural disasters, the politicization of climate change in the United States and a focus on investing in green energy and sustainability within many domestic economies.

Bioscience company Chr. Hansen completed new research on a branded probiotic strain (L. casei 431, Lactobacillus paracase) and whether it benefits immunity against influenza following vaccination.

New York, NY—A bioavailable form of vitamin B5 (Pantesin, a form of pantethine, developed by Kyowa Hakko USA) may help reduce cholesterol levels within the body and help prevent cardiovascular diseases according to research. Published in Nutrition Research Journal, the experiment yielded positive results for those who included pantethine in their diets.

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.