Regulatory review: See latest policy round-ups from South Korea, China and Malaysia

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

South Korea and China are some of the APAC countries which have announced new nutra policies recently. ©Getty Images
South Korea and China are some of the APAC countries which have announced new nutra policies recently. ©Getty Images

Related tags South korea China Malaysia New zealand

South Korea will start the third phase of its mandatory traceability programme for special purpose foods, while international brands selling co-enzyme Q10, fish oil and melatonin into China for the first time will still need to enter the market via the registration route. Find out more in this regulatory round-up.
Special purpose foods law: South Korea’s third phase of mandatory traceability programme kicks in this December

South Korea’s third phase of its mandatory traceability programme for special purpose foods, including infant formula and Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMPs), will begin in December this year.

In this phase of the rollout, both overseas and local manufacturers which have recorded a turnover of KRW$100m (US$89k) in 2016, will need to adhere to food traceability requirements, the country’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) announced.

Aside from infant formula and FSMPs, manufacturers of other special purpose foods, such as those for pregnant, lactating women, and formulated food for weight control, will also need to adhere to the policy.

Caught by surprise: China tells international brands new co-enzyme Q10, fish oil and melatonin products still need to use registration track

Newly imported products containing co-enzyme Q10 and four other raw materials recently added to China’s Health Food Raw Material Directory entering China will still need to go through the registration route, while local products can go through the less time-consuming filing route.

Overseas firms previously planning to export such products into China have been “caught by surprise”​ by the new announcement made by China’s State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR), a regulatory analyst has told NutraIngredients-Asia.

China announced in last December​ that co-enzyme Q10, fish oil, melatonin, spirulina, and the fungus ganoderma lucidum would be officially added into the Health Food Raw Material Directory in March 1 this year.

E-commerce complaints: Malaysian industry calls for clampdown on ‘unauthorised’ online sales

The Malaysian Dietary Supplement Association (MADSA) says its brand members are being disadvantaged by ‘unauthorised’ online retailers selling their products at lower prices – and is calling on the government to clampdown on the situation.

MADSA said its association members, which include supplement brands and direct-selling firms, have voiced concerns​ on the sale of their products via unauthorised retailers on third party e-commerce platforms.

Products sold via these channels are not registered in Malaysia and therefore do not come with a MAL registration number​. They are usually sold at a lower price as compared to those sold in pharmacies. 

Make it a priority: New Zealand natural health industry urges government to prioritise bill reform

Trade body Natural Health Products New Zealand is urging the government to prioritise the regulatory reforms​ concerning natural health products, amid fears that dated, 36-year-old current regulations could be extended by another five years.

The country's Ministry of Health previously said it intended to develop a new regulatory scheme​.

One of the aims is ​to support the natural health products industry and exports by “making ​clear and fair rules, and assuring other countries that New Zealand products are safe”, ​according to its statement on its website.

Functional foods in Korea: General foods can now carry claims if there is scientific basis – regulator

South Korea has announced that general foods can make functional claims so long as there is sufficient scientific evidence backing the claims, but experts have said they do not believe that it will be to the detriment of the nation’s functional foods sector.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) made the official announcement​ right before the new year.

“Functional labelling for general foods is intended to promote the vitality of the food industry by inducing the development of functional raw materials in Korea.

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