Regulatory review: New nutrient function claims in Thailand, China’s call for evidence of efficacy, TGA investigates unlicensed health products

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Read about regulatory developments surrounding the health foods industry in Thailand, China and Australia.  © Getty Images
Read about regulatory developments surrounding the health foods industry in Thailand, China and Australia. © Getty Images

Related tags regulations Policy Thailand China Australia

Read about regulatory developments across APAC’s health foods market, including the pending expansion of new nutrient function claims in Thailand and Chinese market regulator call for evidence of efficacy.
New nutrient claims: Thailand’s new function regulations set to drive market growth 

Thailand is introducing a new health claim framework where the number of nutrient function claims will be expanded.

This is to align with changes that happened at the CODEX level along the years, simplify the current framework and in turn, boost the market development of health food. 

NutraIngredients-Asia learnt​ from industry expert, Dr Anadi Nitithamyong, VP for academic affairs of Food Science and Technology Association of Thailand (FoSTAT) that the new guidelines for nutrient function claims were finalised and were pending to be gazetted.

Evidence of efficacy: China’s regulator urges firms to contribute ingredient data to health food registry

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) is encouraging health food firms to contribute to the expansion of the Health Food Raw Materials Directory by presenting evidence to support the functional efficacy of ingredients to the unit.

Supervision Commissioner of SAMR Zhang Jin Jing encouraged firms to do​ so when speaking at the 6th​ Nutraceutical Industry Development Conference held in Shanghai last month.

At present, the directory consists of only basic vitamins and minerals, and firms are only required to go through the filing process, which typically takes about six months, to obtain approval for manufacturing supplements containing these raw materials. 

WATCH: How will China's e-commerce and infant formula regulations shape the future for foreign firms?

China's food and nutrition regulations have been closely watched by brands, suppliers and consumers alike, with infant formula and e-commerce being particularly important issues for both domestic and overseas players.

With the recently installed State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) keeping scrutiny on e- commerce and infant formula, distributors and manufacturers have had to reassess their respective businesses to ensure they are meeting regulatory requirements.

This month, we speak to two industry experts,​ who discuss what the stricter e-commerce regulations mean for overseas brands selling to China, and how infant formula companies have been affected by the government's increased focus on boosting the domestic market.

Nootropics and SARMs seized in Australia as TGA continues investigation into unlicensed health products

The growing popularity of nootropics and sports nutrition supplements is leading to a boom in unlicensed products being sold online, with Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recently seizing a raft of items.

The regulatory body announced that in conjunction with the NSW Police, Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and NSW Health, it had executed four search warrants for a business operating in Sydney that was suspected of selling unapproved nootropic supplements and selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs).

The operation was part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged import, advertising and supply of unauthorised therapeutic products; most recently, the involved regulators had seized black salve and blood root supplements​.

Burning the stomach wall: Expert rounds on dangerous black salve and bloodroot products to 'treat' cancer

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration's (TGA) recent seizure of unlicensed bloodroot and black salve supplements has highlighted a dangerous emerging trend for unlicensed ‘natural’ products that claim to help fight cancers.

Along with the Queensland Police Services and Australian Taxation Office, the TGA executed a search warrant at a business premises Queensland in May and seized 27 jars of bloodroot salve (commonly known as black salve), 84 bottles of Triple-Strength Bloodroot Capsules, and 30 bottles of Double-Strength Bloodroot Capsules.

This operation was part of a wider ongoing investigation​ into the alleged unauthorised import, marketing and distribution of unlicensed therapeutic health products, with several devices associated with the manufacture of such goods also confiscated.

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