HEALTH

CHFA disputes report that new law will lead to deceptive labeling

BY Michael Johnsen

TORONTO The Canadian Health Food Association on Tuesday took exception to a Globe and Mail report published Monday that suggested dietary supplement manufacturers will soon be able to run roughshod over Health Canada in making disease state claims on behalf of dietary supplements.

“The changes to the federal rules, which take effect June 1, represent a significant boost for the natural health industry, which is eager to increase its credibility and capitalize on a booming market for vitamins and botanical supplements by directly marketing their health claims to consumers,” Carly Weeks writes for the Globe and Mail. “But medical experts and consumer advocates warn the federal government’s decision could result in a flood of deceptive claims about natural health products that are backed up by inadequate or even flawed scientific evidence.”

“The article … misinformed the reader into thinking Health Canada was at the mercy of natural health product manufacturers,” complained CHFA president and chief executive officer Penelope Marritt in a letter-to-the-editor, addressed to the Globe and Mail, and posted on the association’s web site. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

At question are some revisions made to Canada’s Food and Drug Act that will allow manufacturers to apply to Health Canada to make claims they have not been able to make in the past, such as “helps in the prevention of cancer,” for example. “Modifying Schedule A gives natural health product suppliers the ability to apply to Health Canada to make treatment, prevention and/or cure claims for certain disorders and diseases,” Marritt wrote. “Natural health suppliers must continue to meet product licensing requirements under the Natural Health Products Regulations and at the same time, continue to substantiate any preventative claim with sufficient levels of evidence.”

Consequently, consumers are still protected from fraudulent product claims and encouraged to seek appropriate medical treatment for serious conditions, Marritt argued.

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Bond’s Fusion Energy competitive in energy-drink sector

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO Bond Laboratories is looking to capitalize on the growing category of energy-drink shots—2 oz. beverages merchandised alongside nutrition bars in part because they don’t require refrigeration. According to the company, energy shots make up 11.7 percent of the overall energy drink category—a $2.6 billion category in 2006 based on wholesale sales according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.

The category represents an added convenience for consumers, plus the shots do not contain nearly as much carbohydrates and sugar as do many full-size energy drinks. And for retailers, it’s a small cube with exceptional turns that’s easy to merchandise in high-impulse locations throughout the store, the company noted.

In addition, Bond Laboratories is the official sponsor of L&M Racing, the premier supercross (dirtbike racing) team. Fusion Energy will sponsor L&M Racing, which fields two of the top names in the sport—Chad Reed and Nathan Ramsey through the AMA and World Supercross Championships and additional stadium races during the 2008 series.

Fusion Energy also sponsors golf pro Pat Perez. The company’s total consumer ad budget for 2008 is almost $7 million, the company reported.

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SOLIS to introduce SuperC powder packet supplements

BY Michael Johnsen

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. SOLIS Brands is rolling out its new SuperC brand of powder packet supplements in April, company executives reported last month at the ECRM Vitamin, Diet & Sports Nutrition conference in Destin, Fla.

The new product launch will include two flavors—orange, an immunity booster, and berry, an energy booster.

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