Vancouver, Canada—Increasing globalisation of dietary supplements markets is the good news. Varying regulatory models throughout the globe, however, can create barriers to trade. The growing desire to create an economic and regulatory environment with a more common playing field was the focus of the second International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) Workshop, held here in April.
IADSA Vice Chairman Bruce Dennison opened the conference by saying, "There are many different regulatory models throughout the world, varying from food to medicines law. This year's conference will help establish a model to help meet the global challenges that this raises. It will be particularly valuable to countries that do not yet have a regulatory system so that an appropriate model may exist for them to follow."
The effect of the recent EU Dietary Supplements Directive was discussed, particularly with relevance to developing a global model. Allowing 15 countries with differing views to develop a common framework was seen as a significant development for how other countries and regulatory authorities might agree to global standards—although it was noted that the interpretation of such standards might vary considerably in different countries.
On the international front, speakers discussed industry self-regulation with the aim of getting products to market quickly while ensuring safety. Another idea was floated to establish a cross-industry body with government involvement to set guidelines for innovative products.
IADSA, founded in 1998, acts as a unified industry voice in international debates such as the WHO/FAO Codex Alimentarius. IADSA members represent 35 associations from 27 countries. www.iadsa.org