HEALTH

‘Buyer beware’ when purchasing humidifiers, Consumer Reports says

BY Michael Johnsen

YONKERS, N.Y. — The latest issue from Consumer Reports found top-rated humidifiers for as little as $30, but shoppers need to be cautious because a few models tested fell short of claims, the publication announced Tuesday.

"Low prices and a raft of antimicrobial promises can be extremely enticing, but our latest tests show that some models humidify less than their claims suggest," stated Bob Markovich, home and yard editor at Consumer Reports. "And even with humidifiers that discourage microbes, consumers will still need to clean and disinfect the tank regularly due to the sitting water."

The full report on humidifiers appears in the January issue of Consumer Reports and online at ConsumerReports.org.

Among recommended models were the Air-O-Swiss A0S7135, $170, and Sunpentown SU-4010, $90, which can produce cool or warm mist. The Vicks V745A, $45, uses a heating element to create steam and kill bacteria and other microbes as the water is heated. But steam models can pose scalding risks; Consumer Reports recommended keeping them away from children.

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Chinese retailer eyes GNC

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — Chinese retailer Bright Food Group is looking to potentially grow its portfolio with the acquisition of specialty retailer GNC, according to several reports.

The Bright Food Group acquisition would be backed by Hony Capital, one of China’s biggest buyout firms. What’s more, the global buyout firm the Blackstone Group is expected to join Hony in backing Bright Food Group’s potential GNC bid, published reports have noted.

Bright Food Group operates more than 3,300 retailing outlets in Shanghai and other provinces, including NGS Supermarket, Shanghai First Provisions Store and Guangmin convenience stores, among others. Among Bright Food’s distributor partners are the Coca-Cola Co., Pepsi, Nestle and Danone.

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Kim Dresser joins NPA

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Natural Products Association on Wednesday named Kim Dresser NPA VP membership, with the responsibility of leading the association’s membership services and education department.

Specifically, Dresser will direct and administer NPA’s programs to attract new members and retain current members. In addition, she will implement membership marketing initiatives and identify, develop and oversee new and existing programs, services and benefits to meet member needs.

Dresser brings to bear nearly 20 years of association management. Prior to joining NPA, Dresser was director of membership at the Home Builders Association of Maryland, where she directed membership recruitment, retention and marketing efforts for the Maryland chapter of the National Association of Home Builders.

She previously served as director of membership, marketing and events for the American Wind Energy Association and director of member services and marketing for the Waste Equipment Technology Association.

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