Regulatory updates: China's 'blue-hat', India's retail scheme, Australia's vitamin B6 policies

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Regulatory updates on China's 'blue-hat', India's retail scheme and more

Related tags blue hat retail channels dosage restriction

China's 'blue-hat' labelling requirement, India's nutraceutical retail initiative involving over 8,000 stores, and Australia's implementation of new dosage restrictions for vitamin B6 will be covered in this regulatory round-up.
China proposes ‘blue-hat’ logo to be printed on all smallest individual packs

China’s health foods regulator is proposing that all smallest individual product packs should be printed with the ‘blue-hat’ logo.

The new proposal aims to strengthen its control on product labelling and protect consumers’ right, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said on March 21.

Aside from individual packs, the regulator is proposing the manufacturers to print the ‘blue-hat’ logo on the product’s main display – specifically the top left-hand corner – to help consumers identify the product as an approved health food easily.

Nutra opportunity: 8,000 medical retail outlets in India now stocking products

Nutraceuticals are now being offered in over 8,000 government medical retail outlets across India for the first time.

The shops, named ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP, or loosely termed the Prime Minister’s Indian Public Medicine Scheme) kendra’, cater to the mid- and lower income segments of the population.

Around mid-March, the shops added nutraceuticals to its shelves, such as protein powders and bars, malt-based food supplements and immunity boosters, and the products are priced around 50 to 90% less than branded ones.

Australia updates requirements for products containing molluscs, vitamin B6 and artemisia

All newly listed supplements in Australia containing molluscs, vitamin B6, and artemisia will need to comply with new regulations immediately, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced.

For instance, they will need to state the allergen warnings for mollusc-derived ingredients, comply with new vitamin B6 dose restrictions for adults and children, and highlight pregnancy risk warnings for four additional artemisia species.

The new regulations have applied to newly listed products since 1 March, while existing listed medicines will be given one year to implement changes until 1 March 2023.

Claims boost? South Korea proposes ginseng for liver health and wider sources of protein

The South Korean authorities have made a number of new suggestions for Health Functional Foods (HFF) regulations, such as allowing ginseng products to make liver health claims.

The proposal, put up by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), has also proposed to allow all types of food raw materials to qualify as protein sources.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) is collecting public feedback which will close on May 2.

Clearing the air: Singapore regulator provides clearer guidelines on supplements classification

Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has provided clearer guidelines on the classification of health supplements and quasi-medicines – two product categories which could similarly contain vitamins and minerals, but differ in the number of active ingredients.

One of the key revisions was the introduction of a classification flowchart for health supplements containing vitamins and/or minerals.

The flowchart shows that a vitamin and mineral product is classified as a quasi-medicinal product if it 1) contains VMS as active ingredients, 2) is labelled as a VMS, 3) contains a majority (at least 50 per cent or more) of vitamins or minerals. 

The authority also highlighted that the proportion of vitamins/minerals is calculated based on the number​ of active ingredients and not the strength​ of the ingredients.

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