Industry News

More Regulation on the Way For Global Supplement Market

March 1, 2011

Growing market sizes, heightened attention to product safety and the continuing harmonization of food supplement regulations show a global trend toward more regulation, according to the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA). While food supplement harmonization is already underway in the European Union, decisions are expected this year on key aspects of the Association of South East Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) similar harmonization process toward a regional legislation. “Many countries are in the process of developing new regulatory frameworks, and regulators are increasingly monitoring the successes and challenges of similar initiatives across the globe,” said Peter Zambetti, IADSA chairman.

At the national level, IADSA’s plans this year include working in China, Eastern Europe and Russia with regulators and academia to discuss regulatory issues related to food supplements. Regionally, IADSA will continue its focus on Latin America. At the global level, IADSA’s focus will remain on food additives, as the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) meets to consider adoption of key draft provisions for food additives used in supplements worldwide. IADSA has also identified technical changes in relation to the Codex review of Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) for vitamins and minerals, and some other initiatives such as the proposal to develop a standard for marine oils.

Speaking of marine oils, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED), Salt Lake City, UT, has finalized its position on the development of a Codex Standard, supporting the principle of establishing a uniform global standard for quality and definition of various types of marine oils containing EPA and DHA omega 3s. According to GOED, while the standard should include EPA and DHA concentrates derived from fish oils, the standard should exclude oils derived from plant, vegetable and algal sources since the marine environment is not involved at any stage in the production of these oils. GOED also said a viable standard should be established in a manner that will promote international trade and protect human health.

Current approaches to identify oils based on fatty acid profiles are not thought to be commercially feasible. GOED’s support for a marine oil standard is conditional upon the ability to adopt a standard that is flexible enough to allow for rapid innovation and natural variations in product composition due to environmental factors. Without such consideration, restriction, rather than promotion, of free trade may be the end result, the organization said. This position was forwarded to the U.S. Delegate to the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) for consideration. The position paper will also be forwarded to other Codex delegates and industry groups focused on the issue.

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