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Dr. Fresh Inc. acquires Ascendia Group’s Binaca, Tek and Dentax brands

BY Melissa Valliant

BUENA PARK, Calif. Dr. Fresh Inc., major manufacturer and distributor of oral and personal care products announced its Oct. 14 acquisition of Binaca, Tek and Dentax brands from Ascenda Group. The company will begin marketing and distributing all Binaca and Tek products immediately, as well as begin creating new plans for the Dentax brand.

Binaca, Tek and Dentax brands are all known for their mouthwash, breath sprays and oral care products. Their lines will add to an already strong group of Dr. Fresh products, including their No.1-selling kids? toothbrush.

“Binaca has long been the standard in the breath care category, enjoying a high degree of recognition and a loyal consumer following. We are thrilled to be able to count it among our brands,” said Daniel Enreiquez, vice president of sales and marketing for Dr. Fresh Inc. “Binaca will accelerate our expansion into the breath care segment on the heels of our recent launch of Dentyne breath sprays, while also providing exceptional value both to consumers and to retailers. The Tek brand will diversify our offerings and increase our market share in the institutional arena.”

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American Botanic Council asks for lift on stevia import ban

BY Melissa Valliant

AUSTIN, Texas The American Botanic Council is calling for a repeal of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 1991 import alert on steviol glycosides, which are used under the name of “stevia” as food and beverage sweeteners and dietary supplements.

In ABC’s HerbalGram publication, Mark Blumenthal, ABC’s founder and executive director, calls the stevia alert “unreasonable and illogical” given the “current scientific and medical information supporting the safety of stevia when consumed in relatively small amounts in foods to give them a sweet taste.” Blumenthal notes that stevia importers would still have to conduct FDA GRAS reviews, thus further ensuring safety, in order to use their product. 

Currently, stevia’s low glycemic index allows it to be permitted solely as a dietary supplement in the U.S., and no food manufacturers have been able to gain FDA GRAS status for use in food and beverages. The American Herbal Products Association in 1992, as well as Lipton-Uniliver in 1994, petitioned to obtain GRAS status in order to use stevia in foods and beverage products, but the FDA refused both. 

Coburn & Coffman PLLC, a two-man law firm in Washington DC, disagrees with ABC, stating in a petition that stevia glycosides are drugs, since they have been studied for effects on blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Coburn & Coffman cite Sect. 301 (II) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) as grounds to “seize, and obtain injunctions against distribution of food other than dietary supplement to which have been added stevioside, rebaudioside A, or any other steviol glycoside.”

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Tyson meat company plans global expansion

BY Jenna Duncan

SPRINGDALE, Ark. Tyson Foods could be looking at international expansion reports said this week. The news comes after statements made to the Associated Press by company head Don Tyson indicated that he and his company were looking into growing into global markets.

“Our company, as I would view it today, is in kind of a consolidation stage, getting ready for our growth overseas,” Tyson told The Associated Press.

Since the 1970s, Tyson has survived stock highs and lows, but now faces U.S. market challenges such as high grain prices for feed, over-production of chicken, export bans on U.S. beef due to mad cow disease outbreaks.

For that reason, Tyson explained, his company is considering pursuits in more international markets. Tyson has already acquired two poultry companies, Avicola Itaiopolis and Macedo Agroindustrial, and majority ownership in a third, Frangobras, in Brazil. Additionally, the company announced joint ventures in China earlier this year including a majority share purchase of 60 percent of the Shandong Xinchang Group chicken company, majority interests in chicken processing plants in Zhucheng and Shandong, and in another under development in Haimen City, reports said.

The company also bought up 51 percent of Godrej Foods, in India.

Tyson Foods brings in about $27 billion a year in revenue, reports said.

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