Several high-visibility acquisitions have occurred over the past month. According to, Pfizer Inc. of New York, NY will purchase Foothill Ranch, CA-based Alacer Corp., maker of Emergen-C effervescent supplements. General Mills of Minneapolis, MN bought Food Should Taste Good of Needham Heights, MA, and will add it to its Small Planet Foods business along side the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and LÄRABAR brands. Ian’s Foods, a gluten-free foods maker, and seafood specialist Blue Horizon Wild have merged and formed a new food company called Elevation Brands LLC, based in Framingham, MA. Dole Food Company, Inc. of Westlake Village, CA now owns Mrs. May’s Naturals of Sun Valley, CA.

Sequel Naturals changed its company name to Vega, Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada, which is the same name as its plant-based nutrition line.

The personal care line, Botanique by Himalaya, of Sugar Land, TX, now has the NPA Natural Standard Seal on all 20 products. This line was previously called Organique.

The Natural Products Association (NPA) of Washington, D.C., updated its Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) training program. The program now includes problems found in recent FDA inspections and warning letters; an overview of natural products business models and their GMP responsibilities; and an explanation of what is required for GMP compliance. 2012 seminars will take place in conjunction with Expo West, NPA MarketPlace, Expo East and Supply Side West.

A class action lawsuit was brought against General Nutrition Centers, Inc. (GNC), Cellucor Sports Nutrition, Woodbolt Distribution, Ltd., Woodbolt Management LLC and Woodbolt International. In question is the sale of Cellucor’s C-4 Extreme, which was sold as a natural dietary supplement when it contained “a dangerous substance known by many names, including ‘1,3 Dimethylamylamine,’ ‘1,3 Dimethylhexaneamine HCl,’ ‘1,3 Dimethylhexaneamine,’ ‘Methylhexaneamine’ and 'Geranamine’ (known as ‘DMAA’).” The plaintiffs felt this ingredient should have been better disclosed as a synthetic and dangerous stimulant.

Chatsworth, CA-based Avesta has changed its name to Savesta, which represents the company’s revitalization.

Organizers say there was record attendance (more than 3,300 people) at the 2012 Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, WI. The event took place Feb. 23–25.

The NPA Southwest Region has canceled its Healthfest 2012, which it called a “difficult decision” made because of a sudden change in its executive director position.

 Win one of two bikes made of real flax fiber as part of Barlean’s Flax Resurgence promotion. Each Schwinn bike is valued at $1,200 with a non-battery glow-in-the-dark frame, nine-speed function and sustainable features. Retailers may enter by going to Winners will be drawn at the end of April.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, April 2012