The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new requirement for certifying agencies under the National Organic Program (NOP). Agencies must now annually test for non-organic residue in samples from at least 5% of the organic farms and processors they certify. The requirement went into effect on January 1, 2013.

Sherbrooke, QC, Canada—A horrible disaster struck a production plant owned by Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. (maker of Neptune Krill Oil [NKO]) on the afternoon of November 8. An explosion and fire reduced the production facility to rubble, killing three workers. At least 18 others were injured, some with severe burns. Investigators are searching for the cause of the explosion and the massive blaze that ensued.

News and notes from industry suppliers.

Aimes, IA—Adenosine-5’-triphosphate (ATP) is key for cellular energy storage, so key that when cells don’t have enough ATP inside them, extracellular ATP can cross into cells to boost energy. Can athletes take advantage of this system? Yes, according to new research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition by researchers from Iowa State University and Metabolic Technologies, Inc.

In recent weeks, the controversy over the possible health risks of energy drinks and supplements has come into the limelight. Here, we dissect the latest issues surrounding their safety, and what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is doing about it. 

Vancouver, WA—A proof of concept study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests a branded form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM, as OptiMSM from Bergstrom Nutrition, based here) may be beneficial for recovery after exercise.

St. Clair Shores, MI—Those caring for loved ones with cystic fibrosis (CF) are often desperate for ways to keep the air passages clear and open. Now, new research suggests magnesium supplementation could be of some help. CF is a serious, life threatening genetic disease that causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract, leading to lung disease.

Long Beach, NY—The aftermath of Sandy left Long Beach, NY looking like a scene from a disaster movie. This is what Bob Binder, owner of Bob’s Natural Foods in Long Beach woke up to weeks ago. His normally below-average blood pressure skyrocketed as he surveyed the damage of his own home and business as well as everyone’s ruined belongings scattered around him in his once quiet, happy seashore town. Faced with a devastated home and store flooded with three feet of water and no electricity, heat or clean water, Binder went to work gutting everything he owned in hopes of salvaging his house and his business.

Ocean, NJ; Basking Ridge, NJ—Hurricane Sandy wasn’t very kind to Dean’s Natural Food Market, New Jersey’s largest organic grocer with locations in Ocean, Shrewsbury and soon-to-open Basking Ridge. The 7,400 ft2 Ocean location was hit hardest by Sandy, with power outages and store closures for 10 days, says owner and founder Dean Nelson.

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