Regulatory review: FSSAI's PABA ban, China's first livestreaming regulations, and more

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

See the latest regulatory updates in this round-up. ©Getty Images
See the latest regulatory updates in this round-up. ©Getty Images

Related tags China India Korea Australia

This round-up features regulatory updates across India, China, Australia, and South Korea's dietary supplement market.
Immediate withdrawal: India’s FSSAI enforces ban on nutraceuticals containing PABA

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned the sale of nutraceuticals containing Para Amino Benzoic Acid (PABA).

Food safety departments across Indian states were told to enhance surveillance and enforcement to stop the sales of PABA-containing supplements. Such products should be immediately taken down once found, said FSSAI.

PABA is a precursor of folic acid and exists in dairy products such as eggs, milk, and meat. It is usually used in dietary supplements to improve skin health.

‘Double-edged sword’: Supplement firms need to be wary of China’s new livestreaming regulations

China’s newly introduced regulations on livestreaming marketing is being viewed as a double-edge sword.

The China Advertising Association introduced the first-of-its-kind policy,​ named as “Internet Livestreaming Marketing Behaviour Standards” for implementation on July 1.

The goal is to stem unethical marketing activities such as making false product claims and fabricating sales volume.

‘Re-evaluate or reconsider traditional indications’: Australian regulator investigates products based on TCM, Ayurveda

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will conduct compliance checks on listed medicines that are based on TCM, Ayurveda or other traditional paradigms, with firms urged to re-evaluate their products.

Taking place in the second half of this year, this post market monitoring will focus on the dosage recommendations and preparation methods used to make the products.

The regulator said it received complaints on how some of these products were unlikely to be supported by the appropriate traditional evidence and thus might not meet regulatory requirements. A TGA spokesman told NutraIngredients-Asia ​that the complaints came from a variety of stakeholders including consumers, healthcare professionals, academics and industry.

Supplement warning statements: South Korea proposes new label rules and testing methods

South Korea is proposing to add in ‘precautions for use’ warnings​ for nutraceuticals containing nine kinds of ingredients, including vitamins and potassium. It is also proposing new testing methods for vitamins.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) has proposed​ changes for products containing chromium, beta-carotene, vitamin K, B1, B2, B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and potassium.

For all the nine nutrients, the regulator has proposed to add in the precaution ‘in the event of an abnormality, discontinue consumption and consult an expert’.

RDA enforcement strife: India warns supplement firms to adhere to regulations

Health supplement firms have been threatened with enforcement action if they fail to adhere to permitted recommended dietary allowance (RDA) levels for vitamins and mineral products, regulator FSSAI has said​.

The Indian regulator has directed food safety commissioners of all states to ensure health supplements firms comply with the rule. 

Stringent actions may be taken against defaulters, which industry experts told us could include withdrawal of products from the market and revoking of the FSSAI license.

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