June 13, 2024

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Govt cracks down on substandard supplements: Mandaviya | Latest News India

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The government has begun to crack down on substandard nutraceuticals and health supplements sold in market, said Union minister of health and family welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya, in a written reply in parliament on Friday, adding that since its effort began March, one in six of the samples tested across the country were found to be substandard.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya says government has begun its crack down on substandard health supplements. (ANI)
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya says government has begun its crack down on substandard health supplements. (ANI)

Nutraceuticals, also known as functional foods, are largely nutritional supplements available in several forms such as pills, syrups, capsules, powders, gummies, chewables etc.

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The country’s food regulator, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), directed food safety commissioners to carry out special enforcement drives for various nutraceutical and health supplement products sold in Indian markets, the minister added .

“FSSAI, vide order dated 07th March 2023, has directed Commissioner of Food Safety of all States/UTs, Central Licensing Authorities and Regional Directors to carry out special enforcement drive for various Nutraceutical/Health Supplements products sold in the market which are not in compliance with the provisions of the Act and the Rules and Regulations,” said Mandaviya.

According to government data, during this drive, 1,229 samples were tested, of which 202 were non-compliant with the relevant food product standards; action has been taken against the manufacturers as per the penal provisions under the Food Safety and Standards Act, said Mandaviya

The food regulator has been taking measures to check substandard nutraceuticals after companies rushed in to meet rising demand

“The demand was anyway growing but now post Covid-19, there has been a sudden surge in the volumes being consumed. Almost everyone is looking at boosting their immunity and this has seen an increase in demand but it needs to be seen what is being sold in the name of these health supplements . Ingredients are important as in many cases it may harm a person,” said a senior central government official, requesting anonymity.

HT reported on May 17 that FSSAI is also working on setting standards for nutraceuticals in the country.

The newly constituted Scientific Committee of FSSAI in its meeting in May , highlighted nutraceuticals as one of its challenges.

The health minister said that FSSAI has also been taking steps to create awareness among consumers about safety from all sorts of adulterated and spurious food items including dietary supplements.

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