HEALTH

Mead Johnson expands board by one and appoints a former Ernst & Young vice chairman as a director

BY Michael Johnsen

GLENVIEW, Ill. — Mead Johnson Nutrition on Friday expanded the size of its board from 11 to 12 members and appointed Michael Grobstein as its newest director. He is a retired vice chairman of Ernst & Young, one of the world’s largest professional services organizations.

Grobstein, 71, is currently on the board of directors of Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he is a member of the audit committee, as well as the compensation and management development committees. He also was a director of Given Imaging, where he served on several committees and was chair of the audit committee, until its recent acquisition by Covidien.

Having joined Ernst & Young in 1964, Grobstein was made a partner in 1975. He served as a vice chairman from 1984 until his retirement in 1998. During that period, he held a series of companywide leadership positions that included responsibility for accounting and auditing services; planning, marketing and industry services; and areas of international operations.

Grobstein currently serves on the boards of the Central Park Conservancy and the Peer Health Exchange.

"Mike’s knowledge of accounting, internal controls and financial reporting rules and regulations — along with his varied experience serving on the boards of several global companies — will add additional depth and strength to the broad expertise of our current board," stated James Cornelius, chairman of the Mead Johnson board.

 

 

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CRN praises FDA on revised nutrition labels

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Friday welcomed news of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule, “Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels.”

In particular, CRN praised the agency for re-enforcing the continued use of the Recommended Dietary Allowance as the basis for determining the Daily Value for nutrients. “CRN applauds the FDA for keeping the RDA as its standard for DVs on food labels. At a time when we know of significant nutrient shortfalls in the typical American diet, it would have been a mistake to water down nutritional requirements, so that at most only half the population would be covered,” said Andrea Wong, VP scientific and regulatory affairs at CRN.        

The RDA is the daily dietary intake level of a nutrient considered sufficient by the Food and Nutrition Board to meet the requirements of 97.5% of healthy individuals in each life-stage and sex group. It is calculated based on the Estimated Average Requirements, and is usually approximately 20% higher than the EAR. The EAR is expected to satisfy the needs of only 50% of the people in that age group based on a review of the scientific literature.  

Despite recent concerns raised in the press by some that Americans are in danger of “overnutrifying,” the agency advised that’s not the case. FDA did a thorough review of available data and concluded that “…total nutrient intakes (from both conventional foods and dietary supplements) … do not exceed the [Tolerable Upper Levels] for most vitamins and minerals.”  

"The data show that consumers are not even meeting the EAR for a number of nutrients," Wong said. "We still do urge people, however, to be aware of their total nutrient intake from foods, fortified foods and supplements. But FDA’s analysis should help put to rest those critics using overnutrification as a way to dismiss supplementation.”  

In addition, CRN commended the FDA for calling out potassium and vitamin D as "nutrients of public health significance" because, according to the agency, some segments of the U.S. population are not consuming adequate amounts, putting them at higher risk for chronic disease.     

Wong noted that FDA also plans to revise specific DVs, like those for calcium and vitamin D, to reflect the updated science. “This is the appropriate thing to do,” Wong said. “CRN commends the FDA on its science-based proposal to update food-labeling requirements. We believe consumers will be well-served by the changes that will affect the dietary supplement industry.”

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CHPA supports keeping OTC bronchodilators in the OTC Monograph

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association earlier this week voiced support for keeping over-the-counter bronchodilators in the OTC Monograph during a recent meeting of the Food and Drug Administration’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee. 

During the meeting, the committee discussed whether bronchodilators administered by hand-held rubber bulb nebulizers for the temporary relief of mild symptoms of intermittent asthma (shortness of breath, tightness of chest and wheezing) should be removed from the monograph. Specific drugs discussed included epinephrine, epinephrine bitartrate and racepinephrine hydrochloride.

CHPA VP regulatory and scientific affairs Barbara Kochanowski spoke on behalf of CHPA, stating that there is no obvious reason to abandon the OTC Monograph as a regulatory path to market.  She noted that the FDA has the ability to amend the monograph to ensure proper performance specifications, such as dosing.

Kochanowski also highlighted that more than 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, and under-use of asthma medicines, particularly among minorities, is an acknowledged challenge.

 

 

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