MINERALS
VITAMINS
HERBS & EXTRACTS
PROBIOTICS
Nutrition

To protect consumers against potential health risks arising from the consumption of food supplements and to ensure that they are not provided with misleading information, food supplements are covered by European and national laws and regulations on food safety.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Food supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients (i.e. mineral and vitamins) or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect that are marketed in “dose” form (e.g. pills, tablets, capsules, liquids in measured doses). Food supplements are intended to correct nutritional deficiencies, maintain an adequate intake of certain nutrients, or to support specific physiological functions. They are not medicinal products and as such cannot exert a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic effect.

Food supplements are only intended to ‘supplement’ people’s diets and not replace healthy foods.  The regulation of food supplements makes clear that food supplements are not intended to replace a varied and balanced diet and food supplements packaging is required to state this information.

Because food supplements are considered as food, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer, importer, supplier or distributor to ensure that a food supplement placed on the market is safe.

EU Member States may, for monitoring purposes, request notification of the placing on the market in their territory of a food supplement. Once the product is on the market, the competent authority of the Member State may monitor its use and safety in that territory.

Following an assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Commission may take a decision to include a certain substance in a list of substances whose use in foods is prohibited, restricted or under scrutiny. This may happen when the addition of a substance in food products increases its exposure to levels greatly exceeding the normal consumption and/or poses a potential risk to consumers.

Directive 2002/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 June 2002 partially harmonizes the rules for placing food supplements on the European market. The scope of the Directive includes all food supplements with certain requirements, in particular those relating to labeling particulars, which apply to all food supplements, whatever their composition.

INDUSTRY NEWS & UPDATES

End of the Transition Period for companies subject to Cosmetics Regulation in Switzerland

In June 2014, Switzerland launched Project LARGO and changed its regulation in order to harmonize it with the European Union (EU) and simplify trade procedures. Several transition periods were granted. Presently, the obligation to provide a safety assessment report for each cosmetic product, create a Product Information File, and to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) has already come into force.

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Standards for Cosmetic Safety Assessment and Efficacy Claims in China

Since the beginning of the year, the new Cosmetics Supervision and Administration Regulation (CSAR) has come into force in China. The prohibition of animal testing in certain cosmetics and the publication of guidelines for the safety assessment of cosmetics and testing of efficacy claims are two of the main issues included in this new Chinese legislation affecting cosmetic products.

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Probiotic, Prebiotic and Postbiotic Claims in Cosmetic Products

Microbiome claims such as, probiotic, prebiotic, postbiotic and other related terms are becoming more and more popular in the beauty industry. But what does it really mean? How can a cosmetic company justify such claims? How are these products regulated in terms of their safety and quality standards?

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United States (U.S.) Cosmetics Regulation

Cosmetics and personal care products were regarded as underregulated in the United States (U.S). But in 2019, the new federal bill HR 4296 (Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act) came, replacing the previous HR 2359, and introducing a progressive, robust regulatory framework for cosmetics and personal care products.

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Nanotechnology in Cosmetics

Nanotechnology is a growing business worldwide. Nanomaterials are increasingly used in cosmetics and personal care products. Nanomaterials are similar to other chemicals/substances, but there are risks associated to specific nanomaterials and their use. In the EU, cosmetic products containing nanomaterials may have to be notified by the Responsible Person six months before being placed on the market.

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