IADSA Rates Global Regulatory Improvements "Six out of Ten"

IADSA has given the 2006 global regulatory market a promising ‘six out of ten’ for significant developments reducing technical barriers to dietary supplement trade.

The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) applauded regulatory improvements over the last year, but added that much work is still needed in some regions where current restrictions are still in place, and possible future constraints lurk in the pipelines.

“In terms of improved regulations that prevent barriers to trade, 2006 was a good year,” said David Pineda, IADSA’s Manager of Regulatory Affairs. “One of our main targets is to ensure food supplements are widely available, and last year a major achievement was IADSA’s work at Codex to prevent the deletion of four additives in food supplements. Through cooperation with governments and other national organisations we have seen action get underway in countries as diverse as India, Turkey and Argentina, but there are still substantial and potential barriers to trade in some parts of the world that we would like to see removed.”

Technical trade barriers are government policies or regulations that restrict international trade. They take many forms, such as expensive and lengthy approval systems for food supplements, unclear registration procedures that can take years to be completed, restrictive import licensing requirements, and restrictions on sales, distribution, dosage, ingredients and claims.

Positive regulatory developments last year include South Africa’s decision to create a draft law for complementary medicines and food supplements and ASEAN discussions on the harmonisation of food supplements.

Later this month the future of a further 22 additives in food supplements is on the agenda for Codex decision, and on April 17 IADSA is holding a workshop in Yokohama where influential legislators from Asia, Europe and North America will address existing and future models of regulation.

Mr Pineda said: “Unjustified restrictions continue on the sale of supplements in many parts of the world, but overall it would appear that legislation is moving in the right direction. IADSA will continue to work both at Codex level and with our national associations towards preventing potential restrictions and dismantling existing barriers by sharing information on regulatory models worldwide with governments, national associations and the scientific community.”

For more information about IADSA’s activities or the Yokohama workshop “International Perspectives on Dietary Supplement Regulation” visit www.iadsa.org.

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