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April 04, 2008

Notes and News

  • P&F has gleaned statistics from Datamonitor on the growth of  the Fair Trade market, stating that "ethical consumerism will increasingly come to the fore as people shop for products they feel akin to politically, ethically and aesthetically."  Aromatic extracts such as essential oils, CO2's and absolutes are not even on the radar screen with the  regulators such as Transfair  and flo-cert.  My report on Cote d'Ivoire cacao production revealed that determining abuses will not be an easy job. The P&F article predicts a 15.7% growth through 2012 for the countries covered, concluding that "transparency and trust will become increasingly important currency in the emerging  'green'  marketplace." 
  • Insect repellent products made with  Nepeta cataria should carry a warning to caution people not to use when hiking in areas where Cougars, Lynx, Bobcats or other large cats are present.  All cats (even those big guys) are attracted to catnip, and forest rangers have begun using it to attract Cougars for tagging and research.  All cats will have a physiological reaction to the chemical compound nepetalactone in catnip which has been found to induce a psychosexual response in both male and female cats. One might say that catnip has an aphrodisiac effect, however some cats can be very possessive of their catnip, and some cats have been aggressive after use.  We highly recommend that product manufacturers alert their customers of this potential danger. 
  • As reported by Jennifer Minigh, PhD, in ABC's (American Botanical Society) Herbclip, a recent double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial published in BJOG (British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2008) shows that saffron Crocus sativus L. looks promising for treating PMS (premenstrual syndrome).   Using the dried stigma encapsulated, saffron was effective in treating mild to moderate depression via serotonergic mechanisms.  This is likely the first study of saffron's effects on PMS, with 50 women participating ages 24-50 and comparisons to other studies are therefore probably not possible. 
  • An upcoming Sandalwood Conference to be held in Kununurra, WA  promises to  "Revolutionize the Global Indian Sandalwood Supply."  Rob blogged about this briefly when news of the crop development and establishment of a production plant in Kununurra came out in December.  This news is creating new excitement, as expressed by Georges Ferrando, from Albert Vieille, who says with a processing plant due to be built in Kununurra next year, the region will become a world leader within five years.  "India is number one in supplying sandalwood oil, but I think very, very quickly, Kununurra will become the supplier number one in the world".  The growers are expecting the first harvest in 2014.  The conference will  present comparisons of plantation-grown Santalum album to that grown in the wild, an overview of the international fragrance market, the uses of naturals in fragrance, setting standards for a reliable supply, as well as cover issues of indigenous participation and environmental responsibilities.  In addition to featured presentations, there will be round table discussions and plantation tours.

Posted by Marcia on April 4, 2008 in Aromatherapy, Ecological/Cultural Sustainability, Events, Notes and News, Oil Crops, Research, Safety/Toxicity, Trade Issues | Permalink


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