Health

Vietnam tightens management over nutritional supplement business, production

The edict No. 15/2018 issued by the Government orders production and business of nutritional supplements to have Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificates. Head of the Ho Chi Minh City’s Food Safety Management Board Pham Khanh Phong Lan had a talk to Sai Gon Giai Phong reporter upon the issue.

Head of the Ho Chi Minh City’s Food Safety Management Board Pham Khanh Phong Lan  (Photo: SGGP)

Head of the Ho Chi Minh City’s Food Safety Management Board Pham Khanh Phong Lan (Photo: SGGP)

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certificate issued is a certificate relating to the manufacture of a therapeutic product, medicinal product, an active pharmaceutical ingredient or a cosmetic product attesting to its conformity with the relevant GMP Standard as appropriate.
Mrs. Lan said that Vietnam applied GMP standard for production of medicine, cosmetic products and the edict No.15/2018-NĐ/CP took effect from July 1, 2019.
Therefore, from the date, registered nutritional supplement manufacturers operate under strict Vietnam’s regulatory control like pharmaceutical production. Standardization of nutritional supplement is necessary because consumers can have health risks if they take sub-standard tablets.

However, she added, according to the Vietnam Food Administration (VFA)’s statistic, almost production and business of nutritional supplements do not reach the GMP standards. Only these products meeting the standard can be permitted to circulate in the market from the date on.
The market for dietary supplements, vitamins and minerals is growing at an astonishing rate throughout the country with more than 10,000 products and nearly 4,000 businesses.
Nutritional supplements are regulated by the health watchdog like medicine; however, management of dietary supplements, vitamins and minerals is facing challenges for shortage of personnel.
Therefore, despite strict regulations on the products, many low-quality products which have not complied with the regulations can still be sold in the market since companies boasted about herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals’ benefits that lacked scientific evidence to consumers to persuade them, said Mrs. Lan.
As she noted that in addition to GMP standard in production, the administration should take heed of online business. Government should publicize the good quality products, its producers and distributors as well as tighten control over advertisement in social network and media with the aim to help people not to consider nutritional supplements as drugs.
The Ho Chi Minh City’s Food Safety Management Board has set up plan to intensify supervision on production units and business of these special tablets because health watchdog have found many violating businesses lately.
Inspections will focus on distribution of dietary supplements without receipt or indications of origin as well as advertisement to ensure the products’ quality for consumers’ health.
Last but not least, as she said, producers should be aware that its products will directly consumers’ health and life. Vietnam has higher future growth potential; therefore, manufactures with good products will have good opportunities; accordingly, Ms. Lan said the standardization of supplement production aims to create opportunities for the industry growth and to protect users.

BY THANH AN - Translated by ANH QUAN

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