Hartford, CT—With a 35–1 vote, the Connecticut Senate reportedly passed a bill that would require foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled. It became the first state Senate to do so, but the bill’s prospects in the Connecticut House of Representatives remained unclear. The bill states that the labeling requirement would not take effect in Connecticut until July 1, 2016, unless three other nearby states passed similar legislation. In that case, it would take effect July 1, 2015.

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FDA spending

Silver Spring, MD—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing a budget of $4.7 billion for fiscal year 2014 budget (Oct. 1, 2013–Sept. 30. 2014). 

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Allen Skolnick

Allen Skolnick, a pioneer in the nutrition industry, passed away on April 24. Reflecting on this sad news, Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D., science editor of WholeFoods Magazine, stated: "Today, I lost my best friend, but the health food community lost a true champion. Allen Skolnick was more than an industry-changing pioneer."

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NPA awards

Washington, D.C.—For the 20th straight year, the Natural Products Association (NPA) will honor several individuals’ and businesses’ contributions to the natural products sector with the Annual NPA Awards. The awards will be given out at Natural Products Expo East in September.

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Be sure to stop by the booths of all the advertisers in the March 2013 issue of WholeFoods Magazine.

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Alexandria, Egypt--Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes one’s immune system to attack healthy tissue. Lupus patients on traditional therapies often take corticosteroids and anti-inflammation drugs to relieve symptoms, but the condition has no cure. A group of researchers from the University of Alexandria believe, however, that one’s vitamin D status may have something to do with the disease’s treatment.

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Vitamin Angels’ Precious Cargo campaign, launched in December, raised over $250k during the month of December, exceeding their goal of raising $200k by the end of the year. The campaign’s mission was to raise money to help deliver micronutrients to 30 million children lacking the resources to receive proper nutrition.

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Battle Creek, MI—Here’s a new reason why you shouldn’t pass on the avocados during your next meal. Data collected in the 2001–2008 National Health and National Examination Survey (NHANES) suggest that avocados improve diet quality among other positive factors.

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Rajinder K. Bammi, Ph.D., friend and mentor to Sabinsa Corporation of East Windsor, NJ, passed away in mid-December. Sabinsa credits Bammi with being “one of the primary people responsible for Sabinsa’s portfolio of health-enhancing ingredients”

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Sherbrooke, QC, Canada—Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc., which suffered the loss of its krill oil production plant and three employees in November due to an explosion and fire, says its new plant will be up and running within six to nine months. At this time, krill oil production is said to be “significant,” in sharp contrast to an investment Web site’s speculation of “meaningful” production beginning in 2014.

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