FSSAI proposes banning health supplements sale as 'medicines'

Clamping down on mis-labelling of 'health supplements', food safety regulator FSSAI Thursday proposed banning sale of these products as 'medicines' and announced new norms for products based on ayurveda, sidhha, unani and other traditional health systems.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 24, 2015, 16:15 PM IST

New Delhi: Clamping down on mis-labelling of 'health supplements', food safety regulator FSSAI Thursday proposed banning sale of these products as 'medicines' and announced new norms for products based on ayurveda, sidhha, unani and other traditional health systems.

Under the new draft regulations announced late tonight, the companies can't claim that their nutraceuticals and health supplement products are for therapeutic and curative purposes.

"Every package of food or health supplements shall carry the words FOOD or HEALTH SUPPLEMENT... The term NOT FOR MEDICINAL USE  shall be prominently written on the label," as per a draft order issued by FSSAI, which recently created a flutter by banning the popular Maggi noodles.

Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also proposed the maximum usage levels for cow's milk, buffalo's milk, camel's milk, ghee, curd, butter, honey, gold, gold foil, silver, pearl in ayurveda, siddha and unani ingredients based products.

The limit has been fixed as maximum usage levels per day for use as a health or food supplements which are based on ayurveda, siddha and unani.

The regulator will finalise the safety norms after receiving comments from all stakeholders on the draft note.

FSSAI said that the benefits of specialty foods containing ingredients based on ayurveda, unani and siddha and other traditional health systems of India, should be shown by science based evidence.

Yesterday, industry body Assocham had released a knowledge paper suggesting that FSSAI should come up with safety norms for nutraceuticals and dietary supplements.

In the paper, the industry body said about 60-70 per cent supplements in the nutraceuticals market, which has potential to grow to USD 12.2 billion in the next five years, are fake and such unregistered and unapproved products should be recalled.

India accounts for 1.5 per cent of the global nutraceuticals market.

Heinz, Kellogg's, Nestle, Hormel, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals are key players in this segment.