Regulatory review: China’s health food raw material directory, ASEAN harmonisation in spotlight

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Read developments on China’s expansion of its health food raw material directory and ASEAN’s move to harmonise its supplement rules. ©
Read developments on China’s expansion of its health food raw material directory and ASEAN’s move to harmonise its supplement rules. ©

Related tags regulations China health foods Asean

In this round-up of regulatory developments, we focus on China’s expansion of its health food raw material directory, ASEAN’s move to harmonise its supplement rules, and more.
Concerns Australia’s new ingredient listing rules could cause negative impact for innovative raw material suppliers

Supplement companies in Australia will soon need to provide more details​ on proprietary ingredients when listing a new product or making updates to their current listing with the regulator, sparking concerns that this could negatively impact innovative raw material suppliers, developers, and manufacturers.

At the moment, details about the mixture of ingredients present in a proprietary formulation are not always available in the public domain.

Under the new framework, sponsors and/or their respective raw material suppliers or manufacturers will need to provide more information on the manufacturing processes for active herbal extracts and active premixes that are currently made confidential under a proprietary ingredient.

Beyond vitamins and minerals: China’s expanded health food raw material directory comes into effect in March

China has officially announced the addition of fish oil and four other raw materials into the Health Food Raw Material Directory, which will come into force from March 1 next year.

Aside from fish oil, coenzyme Q10, melatonin, spirulina, and the fungus Ganoderma lucidum are the other raw materials that are added into the directory, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said on December 1.

Prior to that, only vitamins and minerals couldbe found in the directory.

ASEAN harmonisation: Battle for consistent supplement rules set for success after 16 year mission

The long-awaited harmonisation of supplement rules across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has moved a step closer​, with the new regulations set to be formally signed off next November.

This followed the conclusion of a recent meeting by ACCSQ TMHS PWG (ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality, Traditional Medicines and Health Supplements Product Working Group).

There are currently no harmonised regulations for the registration of dietary supplements in ASEAN yet and each country has varying standards.

China’s health claims update: SAMR unveils 24 new indications for public consultation

China is revamping its list of permitted claims for health foods and has unveiled 24 new claims for public consultation.

The original list has 27 claims. Three claims have been removed in the newly drafted list. The removed claims are “promotes lactation”, “improves growth and development”, and “improves oily skin”.

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said​ they have proposed to remove these claims as they do not fit into the current framework for health indications.

Revise-up RDA: India’s industry body urges vitamin rule changes amid COVID-19

Calls to revise the recommended daily allowance​ of vitamins, minerals, and proteins in India are growing after the country’s regulator asked for suggestions from the industry stakeholders.

A group of led by the Expert Nutraceutical Advocacy Council (ENAC) has suggested to adopt the “recommended daily allowance by tolerable upper limits (RDA by TUL)”, instead of adhering to “not exceeding the RDA for Indians” – a practice which has been in place since 2006.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) issued a notification​ seeking comments and suggestions from the public and key stakeholders on the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill 2020.

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