The labelling rules are pertaining to the groups of individuals who should exercise extra caution when taking these products.
In the case of health food with fish oil, warning statement such as “infants, pregnant women, patients with diabetes mellitus or people with abnormal blood coagulation taking anticoagulant are suggested to seek doctor’s recommendations before consumption” should be printed on the product packaging.
As for health food containing red yeast rice, warning statement such as “consuming this product together with statin and fibrate-derived hypolipidemic agents or grapefruit may result in liver and kidney damage or rhabdomyolysis” should be printed on the packaging.
The warning statements should be displayed in a colour distinct from the packaging’s colour.
The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration made the announcement earlier in November.
The changes also followed a public consultation that the Taiwan FDA had conducted in June.
Back then, the regulator explained that health foods containing fish oil and red yeast rice could potentially interact with certain medications and hence, the proposal to include warning statements on the product packaging.
Locally manufactured and imported products produced or imported before January 1, 2024 could still be sold in the market until the date of expiry.
Other labelling requirements
New regulatory requirements pertaining to health claims were also added.
For instance, when the health benefits were proven based on animal experiments, the product should state “based on the testing results from animal model, the product can help to …” or other similar statements with the same meaning.
In addition, for health foods containing ingredients that the authority has not yet determined the suitable method to assess its health effects, a method by could be submitted by the academics.
in this case, such products would need to state “the health care effects of the product is known from academic theory but not approved by product experiments” under the “health care claims” segment of the product packaging.
The regulator has also amended precaution labelling statements concerning the therapeutic effect of the products.
For instance, health food in capsules and tablets should come with the precaution statement “this product is not a drug, for health care only. Patients still need medical treatment” and “please consume according to the recommended intake, excessive intake does not benefit health.”
Health foods that do not come in capsules and tablets should state that “this product is for health care only, without therapeutic efficacy.”