‘Strong supporter’: Singapore industry body says voluntary notification initiative helpful for local, overseas consumers

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Singapore's Health Science Authority (HSA) has set up a database consisting of safe and good quality complementary health products. ©Getty Images
Singapore's Health Science Authority (HSA) has set up a database consisting of safe and good quality complementary health products. ©Getty Images

Related tags: health sciences authority, notification, database

The Health Supplements Industry Association of Singapore (HSIAS) has voiced its support for a newly introduced voluntary notification scheme, explaining that it could support the credential of locally made products in both domestic and overseas markets.

The database, which consists of safe and good quality complementary health products, will be made publicly available from August 1. 

In its initial stage, the database will comprise information on vitamin and mineral supplements and products at higher risk of adulteration, such as products for weight loss, pain relief, and male vitality enhancement.

No fee is required for companies making the notification and the turn-around-time for each submission is 60 working days.

The local regulator, Health Science Authority (HSA), said that this would allow for better traceability and follow-up actions if any safety or quality issues arose.

Twenty-four products have been listed on the database according to a check on August 2. Half of the listed products belong to LAC Global, three from Health & Happiness (H&H) Singapore, and two from Bayer, Best World International, Yi Shi Yuan, Usana Health Sciences Singapore, and one from Herbalife.. 

Examples include Yi Shi Yuan's Powerfit, Trimfit, Bayer's Redoxon Triple Action (Orange flavour), LAC Global's Vitamin D-3 1000IU, H&H Singapore's Swisse Ultiboost Vitamin D3 1000 IU, Usana's Metabolism+, and Herbalife's Nutrition Joint Support Advanced.

“HSIAS is a strong supporter of the Voluntary Notification System. The association has circulated the information of this system at the pilot stage to our members previously and will continue to encourage our members to participate actively,”​ Dr. Doreen Tan, president of HSIAS said in response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia.

Comprising of over 40 health supplement companies in Singapore, HSIAS, which was formed in 2001, represents over 90 per cent of the health supplement products marketed in Singapore.

“HSIAS thinks that this is a very good initiative as it provides a platform for industry to log their products with HSA to demonstrate that their products meet HSA safety and quality requirements.

“The notified list of health supplements can also be helpful to local and overseas consumers and purchasers, who can be assured of quality products, knowing that the products listed meet HSA safety and quality requirements,”​ Dr. Tan added.

Currently, the HSA conducts post market surveillance to detect safety concerns, on top of prohibiting the addition of medicinal ingredients and setting limits on toxic heavy metals in supplements and traditional medicines.

Requirements

Participating firms have to demonstrate that their products meet the necessary safety and quality standards and labelling requirements.

For instance, firms will need to submit the manufacturer’s license, certificate of analysis, final artwork or product label – including the location of batch number and expiry date.

Only products that are compliant with these standards will be published on the database.

“Nevertheless, inclusion in this database should not be misconstrued as HSA’s endorsement of the product,”​ the regulator highlighted.

The HSA will also be holding training sessions to facilitate participation by companies.

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