Days after the recent landmark decision of the Codex Alimentarius Commission to adopt the Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements, the member associations of the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) agreed at their Annual Meeting, on an enhanced programme of support for countries which are currently developing new regulations for food supplements.
The Codex decision was hailed by IADSA Chairman, Randy Dennin, as “a significant step on the path to better regulation worldwide.” The development of the Codex Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements, under the auspices of the World Health Organisation and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, has been a priority for IADSA since its creation in 1998.
With governments from countries representing more than half the world’s population considering change to their national regulations, including China and India, the Codex result has potentially enormous implications. “The programme will not only provide governments with support in developing and implementing regulations but also offer a quality guidance system,” Mr Dennin said. “It will be available through all our member associations worldwide.” IADSA brings together 52 member associations and represents the majority of the world’s US$ 60 billion dietary supplement market. The programme will be based on six key elements:
1) Principles of regulation; 2) Classification and definitions 3) Role and safety of ingredients; 4) Claims; 5) Quality; 6) Distribution.
Bruce Dennison, President of the Health Products Association of Southern Africa and Vice Chairman of IADSA, applauded the Codex Commission for adopting the Guidelines. “These Guidelines make it crystal clear that our product category is and should continue to be regulated under food law.”
Kaori Nakajima of the Japan Health Food and Nutrition Food Association echoed these words. “Governments across Asia are looking at the regulatory framework for food supplements. These Guidelines send out a clear message that scientific risk assessment and not an arbitrary restriction based on a multiple of the RDA is the only basis for establishing maximum levels for vitamins and minerals.”
Peter Van Doorn, Chairman of the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers, welcomed the news. “Over the next two years, the European Union will be determining maximum levels for vitamins and minerals in food.” These Guidelines make even more clear than the EU’s Food Supplements Directive that politics has no place in determining these levels. What is safe for consumers should be permitted for sale to consumers in all countries.”
The US industry, represented by IADSA’s four national member associations, welcomed the result. Council for Responsible Nutrition Vice President and Senior Scientific Officer, Dr. John Hathcock, campaigned vigorously for the Codex outcome. He stated that “this international agreement has the capacity to facilitate international trade in dietary supplement products, breaking down the barriers of inappropriate restrictions and ensuring consumer safety and access.”
IADSA’s member associations meet once a year to coordinate developments across the globe and approve a programme of action for the coming year. This year’s event was hosted by an IADSA member, the US National Nutritional Foods Association, and linked to the Marketplace conference and exhibition held in Las Vegas, USA.
For further information on the support programme, please contact David Pineda, Regulatory Affairs Manager, IADSA, 50 rue de L’Association, B - 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 209 1155 Fax: +32 (0)2 223 3064 Mobile: +32 (0)479 540 036
Email: [email protected] - Website: www.iadsa.org
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