HEALTH

Alli spokeswoman Judd share her progress with private concert

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. Alli spokeswoman Wynonna Judd held a private performance July 11 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville to celebrate her progress since starting the Alli method, which has included dropping two dress sizes. The concert was held exclusively for 50 sweepstakes winners.

“In the past few months, I’ve learned to look at weight loss with a fresh approach that includes better nutrition, exercise and emotional support,” Judd said. “I am so encouraged by my progress and am loving the way I feel. I was thrilled to perform for and fellowship with an audience that is also working toward a healthier way of living.”

Wynonna announced her partnership with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare on its weight-loss Alli brand in January. Judd appears in the brand’s national advertising campaign and is participating in a series of promotions throughout the year.

“The Alli Method is about succeeding through healthy, gradual weight loss,” stated Rachel Ferdinando, VP weight control for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. “We’re proud of [Judd’s] progress and to be her partner in her journey to develop a healthy relationship with food. She is an amazing woman and her accomplishments both on and off the stage make her an inspiration to people everywhere.”

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Dept. of Justice files complaint for permanent injunction against dietary supplement manufacturers

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Food and Drug Administration, on Friday announced the filing of a complaint for permanent injunction against Quality Formulation Laboratories, American Sports Nutrition, Sports Nutrition International and Mohamed Desoky, who oversees operations at all three companies.

The companies, located in Paterson, N.J., manufacture dietary supplements and protein powders and distribute them throughout the United States. The companies also export powder mixes and dietary supplements for sale by private label customers.

The government’s complaint, filed July 1, 2009 in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, alleges that the companies have failed to follow current Good Manufacturing Practice by manufacturing and storing food under “filthy conditions and in conditions that may cause major food allergens to enter into products not intended to contain them.”

The complaint also alleges that the companies failed to disclose major food allergens on the product labels and have other labeling problems.

During a recent inspection, FDA investigators found that several of the companies’ products contained milk ingredients that were not declared on the product labels. In addition, the company failed to clean processing equipment between batches and control allergens in the facility.

FDA investigators also discovered live and dead rodents and rodent urine, feces and gnaw holes on bags of product.

In three inspections, FDA investigators noted deviations from GMP standards. The companies promised to make corrections but failed to do so. The complaint requests a court order to stop the companies and its officer from manufacturing and distributing the products until needed corrections are made.

“This company has consistently failed to correct filthy conditions in their plants and to make sure that allergens are appropriately declared on the labels, despite frequent warnings to do so,” stated Michael Chappell, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will not tolerate companies that fail to provide adequate safeguards.”

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Study suggests Hispanics give higher ratings to products than non-Hispanics

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS Hispanics give higher ratings in product surveys than their non-Hispanic counterparts, according to a study released last week.

The study, designed by Jeffry Savitz, president of Savitz Research Companies, found that Hispanics rate products higher than what they may actually feel.

In the study, Hispanics and non-Hispanics were asked to assign a numeric value to five rating labels using a scale of 0-100 with 100 being the best. The rating labels, “Excellent,” “Very good,” “Good,” “Neither Good nor Poor” and “Poor” are common in survey research. Hispanics consistently gave higher marks than their non-Hispanic counterparts to each label except “poor.” The average difference was 5.9, making it statistically significant.

For example, Hispanics rated Tylenol 85.7, significantly higher than non-Hispanics at 80.6 implying Hispanics favor the brand. However, after the adjustment of 5.9 points, the ratings were at parity.

The results of the study have significant implications on multicultural advertising and marketing as well as which products and services should be offered to Hispanics, Savitz suggested.

“This study finally sheds light on the reason some Hispanic research ends up with faulty conclusions or results,” commented Juan Faura, author of two books on Hispanic marketing. “This ‘cultural lift’ must be taken into account. … Hispanics are taught from an early age that it is in poor taste or inappropriate to openly criticize or berate when asked their opinions.”

Savitz added, “The article discusses levels of acculturation, consumption of Hispanic media and country of origin, but more research is needed to measure the effect of the ‘cultural lift’ on various categories and other factors.”

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