Russia warns of violations within food supplement sector

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dietary supplement

The exaggerated - and not always correct - advertisement of
biologically active additives (BAAs) in food supplements has
resulted in a number of products being removed by the Russian
authorities, writes Angela Drujinina.

The State Trade Inspection in the Ulianovsk district has discarded and removed a number of additives that were not accompanied by the necessary quality certificates. These included 'Blackberry forte with vitamins and zinc' made by Biysk-based Evalar; 'Fitogipertonit' made by Moscow-based Levit Nutrio, 'Koshachiy Kogot' made in Peru and 'Fish fat yantarnaya kaplia' from EKKO Plus.

The move highlights scientists' fears that the public is being misled, and that gross violations are taking place. Doctors point out that while BAAs often appear to be classified as drugs in many advertisements, they are by definition simply food supplements.

In addition, indirect or online sales of BAAs in Russia are illegal. Additives must be sold only in pharmacies or in specialised stores for diet products. But specialists from the State Trade Inspection in the Ulianovsk district checked 15 pharmacies in the region, and found all of them to be in violation of BAA sales regulations.

Authorities have warned consumers that if BAAs are not in conformity with regulations, they might be harmful to human health. The State Trade Inspection has published a document showing information that must be indicated.

For a start, there should be the name of the BAA; the producer's trade mark (if any); a list of regulatory and technical documentation; contents of the BAA with a list of ingredients and information regarding its properties.

Information concerning the weight and volume of the BAA within the package should also be evident, as should warnings and cautions of usage. A line saying explicitly that BAAs are not drugs, the date of production and potential shelf life should all be clearly marked.

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