Uphold safety: China’s SAMR sought public input for methods to test laxatives, beta-blockers in health foods

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

A magnifying glass placed on top of grey layered paper. ©Getty Images
A magnifying glass placed on top of grey layered paper. ©Getty Images

Related tags samr Adulteration health foods

Chinese regulator State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has sought public input for methods to detect the presence of laxatives and beta-blockers in health foods and general foods.

The aim is to combat the problem of products being tainted with illegal additives, address food safety risk, and strengthen food safety monitoring techniques, it said.

Pertaining to health foods, the unit is looking at how beta-blockers and anti-rheumatism ingredients can be detected.

Beta-blockers are mainly used to treat chest pain, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure.

On the other hand, SAMR is also hoping to find out how novel laxatives can be detected in fat reduction tea, enzymes, and dried fruit products.

Fat reduction tea and enzymes are some of the trending products in China. In the recent JD 618 shopping event​, the transaction volume of functional beverage and health tea had increased by 12-fold and 6-fold respectively.  

As for general foods, it is seeking methods for testing the presence of ibuprofen, metronidazole, and sodium ibuprofen, as well as imitated soybean skin products, kudzu powder, and fragrant rice.

It is also seeking for rapid testing methods to detect components such as traces of antibiotics in general foods, dimetridazole in egg-based products, pesticides or veterinary drug residues in general foods, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug in animal-based products etc.  

In total, the SAMR has sought public inputs for a total of 14 categories of food additives testing techniques. 

The criteria

The SAMR will be assessing the feasibility and the science behind the suggested methods based on four key criteria.

First, the technique involved has already been assessed for its safety when used in foods, with relevant toxicology studies data. 

Second, the information surrounding the techniques should be factual and accurate.

Third, the people involved in the submission should have experience in food additives testing methods or relevant experience.

Fourth, one should not submit more than three entries.

The Food Safety Sampling​ Inspection and Monitoring Secretariat​ housed within SAMR will form an expert committee to assess the inputs based on the feasibility, the science, and the unit in charge of making the draft. 

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