New India supplements and nutraceuticals rules receive backing of direct-selling industry

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The new rules will bring relief to IDSA member companies, says the trade body. ©iStock
The new rules will bring relief to IDSA member companies, says the trade body. ©iStock

Related tags Food processing Dietary supplement

The Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) has welcomed new rules for supplements and nutraceuticals announced by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), saying it is a crucial step towards better regulation in the country

The new rules, which will be enforced from January 2018, specify that health supplements should not be sold as medicines and also stipulate the quantity of nutrients allowed in products. (Read the full details here​)

Every package of health supplement should carry the words 'health supplement'​ as well as an advisory warning stating it is 'not for medicinal use'​.

There is also a comprehensive list of ingredients that are permitted, which will be taken into account when FSSAI grants new licenses and approves new products.

IDSA said the rules would bring confidence to the consumers and provide much-needed clarity for the direct selling industry.

“The direct selling Industry has been in dialogue with FSSAI [and] these regulations have brought much awaited clarity on health supplements, nutraceutical and other products meant for special dietary purposes,”​ said secretary general Amit Chadha.

“This will certainly clear a road-block for the IDSA member companies offering products of international standards to the Indian consumers. Due to the lack of clarity, our member companies had kept on hold some products that they wanted to introduce in the Indian market.

“This will bring relief to all IDSA member companies dealing in food, health and dietary supplements.”

He added the “exhaustive list” ​of ingredients which are permissible in health supplements and nutraceutical products had been welcomed by industry, and said the health claims and labelling requirements would benefit consumers.

“Most of IDSA member companies deal in food products, nutraceuticals and dietary supplements. The fact that every package of health supplement should carry the words 'health supplement,’ will bring clarity about the product being sold to the consumers,” ​added Jitendra Jagota, chairman of IDSA.

“On industry’s part, it will strengthen the position of direct selling companies which have been offering their products for a long time in the country.”

Level playing field

His views were echoed by Amway India managing director Anshu Budhraja, who said: “This is an enabling step taken by FSSAI to further improve the regulatory environment. The regulations will provide clarity to the food supplement industry by establishing standards for new food categories and create a level playing field for the industry.”

The Confederation of Indian Industry urged manufacturers and suppliers to work closely with FSSAI to ensure a smooth transition to the new regime.

Piruz Khambatta, co-chair, of its National Committee on Food Processing Industry said the regulations were a vital first step towards creating science-based and globally compatible regulations.

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