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Strict rules for food supplements urged

Update: December, 30/2015 - 09:32
Authority seizes fake food supplements. Experts have called for strengthening the management of food supplements to protect consumers from chaos in the food supplement market where about 50 per cent of inspected products had violations. — Photo vietnamnet.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Experts have called for strengthening the management of food supplements to protect consumers from chaos in the food supplement market where about 50 per cent of inspected products had violations.

Speaking at workshop yesterday, pharmaceutical expert Le Van Truyen said that the situation was caused due to inadequate laws and regulations on food supplements while the VFA was overloaded with their task of food supplement management.

The country's food supplement industry was backwards and lacked investment for advanced science and technologies, added Truyen.

The Viet Nam Food Administration (VFA) director Nguyen Thanh Phong said that most violations related to producing and trading food supplements that did not meet registered quality and standards.

"Many products have been advertised falsely for its effects or produced at places that did not meet hygiene and safety regulations. VFA found violations at 105 production and trading companies with total fines of nearly VND 1.9 billion ($84,500) during the first seven months of this year," said Phong.

Phong said that customer and enterprise rights should be protected through measures on strengthening State management and better laws and regulations.

"Priorities should be given to improve supervision and inspection and collaboration between ministries and relevant sectors from central to local levels in the fight against producing and trading fake food supplements," stressed Phong.

Tran Hung from the National Steering Committee on Combating Smuggling and Commercial Fraud and Counterfeit Goods said that the situation of producing fake drugs, cosmetics and food supplements was very popular in Viet Nam.

The committee found more than 3,800 violations relating to pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food supplement products, collecting more than VND22.3 billion (US$991,000) for the State Budget during the period between July 15 to October 15 this year.

Hung added that from the start of 2014 to May 2015, the committee's inspection campaigns found more than 2,100 violation cases that collected about VND236 billion (over $10.4 million) to the State Budget.

The health ministry statistics showed that Viet Nam currently has more than 3,000 companies producing and trading food supplements. More than 60 per cent of products were produced locally while 30 per cent were imported products.

A survey of the Viet Nam Food Supplements Association said that food supplements were used by 63 per cent of adult people in Ha Noi and 43 per cent of adult people in HCM City. — VNS

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