Safety first: Latest updates from Australia, India, South Korea in safeguarding nutraceutical safety

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Latest updates from Australia, India, South Korea in safeguarding nutraceutical safety

Related tags MFDS Fssai TGA

Find out how regulators across APAC are safeguarding dietary supplement and functional food quality, including initiatives from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS).
Sports nutrition, vitamins form bulk of ‘illegal supplements’ sold on Aussie ecommerce sites – new data

Nutraceuticals industry body Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) has been gathering information on ‘illegal supplements’ sold on third-party e-commerce websites for TGA, with the aim of curbing illegal and counterfeit imports into the country.

‘Illegal supplements’ refers to products that are not registered with the TGA and thus could not be found on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) database.

So far, sports nutrition and vitamins form the majority of illegal supplements sold online, CMA told NutraIngredients-Asia.

India nutra enforcement: Regulator sets sights on non-compliant ingredients, exceeding RDI levels, and misleading claims

India’s food and nutraceutical regulator is ordering a special enforcement drive to curb the flow of non-compliant products, such as those exceeding the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) nutrient levels, containing ingredients that are not permitted, and making misleading claims, said a former director of the FSSAI.

The regulator ordered on March 7 for all states to carry out a “special enforcement drive” ​to check for product compliance and to “take strict action against any incidence of violation by the FBOs (food business operators)”.

This is because products not in compliant with the Food Safety and Standards Regulations 2022 (FSS Regulations 2022)​ were found in the market, the FSSAI said.

High-tech inspections: South Korea deploys AI in national food imports plan to boost safety

The South Korean government has announced a new food imports plan to be enforced in 2023 which will involve the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve its monitoring and inspections processes.

The MFDS’ Imported Food Customs Clearance Inspection Plan features the use of AI that is expected to be implemented in the second half of 2023.

Foods for the more vulnerable consumer populations including infants, children and the elderly will be subjected to higher rates of random inspections, MFDS minister Yu-Kyoung Oh said.

Healthy ageing impact: Country-of-origin labelling mandated for more supplements sold in South Korea

The South Korean authorities have mandated nutrition supplements for the elderly aged 65 and above, as well as six functional raw materials used in Health Functional Foods, to come with the country-of-origin labelling, in a bid to protect consumer safety.

The requirement, which comes under the “Guidelines for Country-of-Origin Labelling of Agricultural and Fishery Products”, will apply to a total of 13 items that are highly popular in the country, and one of which is nutrition supplements for the elderly.

The rule was implemented on February 2, but a transition period is given to companies until December 31 this year.

World-first voluntary guidelines: Singapore introduces food safety standards in the e-commerce space​ 

Singapore has developed a new set of voluntary food safety guidelines for businesses across the food e-commerce supply chain.

The guidelines focused on the key stages that might be critical to food safety, namely: Food business/seller onboarding process, at the point of e-commerce sale, last-mile delivery, at the point of delivery, and traceability and product recall.

They were developed by a working group comprised of a government agency, industry associations and private sector players.

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