First quarter of 2019 has seen some busy bees over at the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). Thus far in 2019, the Administration has released three draft documents for the health product industry:

January 29, 2019 – “Announcement of Management of Health Food Labeling”. This draft states that health food labels should have a an area to remind consumers that these products are not drugs by including the following statements: “Health Food Does Not Have the Function of Disease Prevention or Treatment” as well as “This Product Can Not Be Used To Replace Medicine”.

March 20, 2019 – Rules on Declaration and Evaluation of Probiotics Health Food Draft”. As probiotics is big business in China that is set to begin moving out of the diary sector and grow in both general food and health food supplements, the administration wants to clarify what these products are, why they are used and how they can be used.

The good news is that all existing strains that are already approved as food can be used in health food products (supplements). The draft spells out what documents are needed to gain health food product filing approval for finished consumer products.

March 28, 2019 – “Announcement on Soliciting Opinions on Adjusting Health Food Functions Draft”. This has been a long time coming. Since the beginning of the association back in 2010. The association and others have been advocating for the government to review their 27 health claim system, which in many areas crossed the line of food supplement into the realm of drug efficacy. This draft is proposing to cancel some claims and rename others in order to draw a deeper line in the sand between supplements and medicines. Many consumers continue to view supplements as a type of medicine mostly due to illegal marketing tactics. The government wants to rectify this misinformation, which will benefit the industry in the long run.

The association and its members have submitted comment and suggestion reports to SAMR. HPA-China and its members continue to support the ongoing development of China’s overall natural health product industry. (Source: HPA-China)

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