Brattleboro, VT—The organic industry bucked the trend of flat growth that other market segments have seen. According to findings from the Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey, this industry grew 8% last year to $28.6 billion in sales. The news is even better for some sectors, which enjoyed a 30% growth.

Las Vegas, NV—The Natural Products Association’s (NPA) official industry showcase and conference, held since 1938 and now owned and produced by New Hope Natural Media, will take place here from June 23 through 25. This year’s show will offer a bevy of education and opportunity for retailers and manufacturers big and small, according to show organizers.

Rockville, MD—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two new rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that are intended to improve food safety. The rules take effect July 3.

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

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the agency’s policy on food additives like melatonin. In response, the natural products industry has sought to clarify the status of such products and distinguish them from dietary supplements.

Little Rock, AR—The historic floods that moved through the Mississippi Delta region recently had wide-ranging, often devastating effects on agriculture, according to reports. These effects are probably related to the worsening of other economic conditions; damaged or postponed crop plantings have meant lost jobs on farms and a further uptick in food prices already trending high.

Washington, D.C.—An interagency Working Group led by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has come out with voluntary guidelines that would limit advertising aimed at children for foods high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat. The proposals state that food advertising should promote healthy dietary choices in children, as well.

With a stated goal of confronting food and agriculture policy issues in the face of global uncertainty, an initiative called AGree was launched recently by a broad-based coalition of leading industry figures. Citing challenges like a rapidly increasing global population, limited arable land, pressure on fresh water quality and availability and environmental degradation, the initiative’s organizers say this is a pivotal time to be addressing policy issues.

WholeFoods Magazine’s long-time circulation director, Sandra P. Wainer, passed away on Sunday, April 24th, 2011 due to heart failure.