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Indian supplement market ripe for foreign investments

By Ankush Chibber , 12-Apr-2012

Investors set to eye India's supplements market more seriously
Investors set to eye India's supplements market more seriously

New regulations will make India’s health supplements market far more attractive for foreign investors, the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplements (IADSA) has said. 

According to IADSA, the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, which went into force in August last year, will boost foreign investment in the sector now that health supplements are clearly featured in it.

Under the new act, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is required to develop specific regulations on novel food, genetically modified articles of food, irradiated food, organic foods, foods for special dietary uses, functional foods, nutraceuticals, health supplements and proprietary foods.

Cashmer Dirampaten, regulatory affairs manager at IADSA, told FoodNavigator-Asia that “requiring the establishment of science-based and product category specific regulations for food is a positive move towards encouraging health supplement companies to explore the country’s market potential.”

The act and subsequent rules will certainly contribute to the positive image of India to both local and foreign investors, Dirampaten added.

She said however that consultations with different sectors are ongoing regarding new regulations governing health supplements under the act and no timeline is yet fixed as per IADSA.

Challenging, detailed process

Framing the laws is a process easier said than done, she said, especially as many products are already in the market.

Alluding to the long reported delays by the FSSAI scientific panel responsible for the rules, she explained that “it can be challenging to enact laws and regulations to ensure access to safe foods for a population of more than one billion.”

“It must also be challenging to develop regulations that are science-based but at the same time cognizant of India's deep appreciation for traditional wisdom of maintaining health and well-being,” she remarked. 

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