Nutra-ingredients – Regulatory Updates: Denmark Clamps Down on Glucosamine Products – May 6, 2011

May 6, 2011 By

Denmark clamps down on glucosamine products

By Shane Starling, 02-May-2011

The Danish Medicines Agency (DMA) has issued a warning against illegal glucosamine medicines being sold on a Danish website owned by a Danish national based in Singapore.

The DMA said the website owner had been issuing debt collection notices to consumers that had sought to return the products after learning they were fakes.

“The case has been handed to the police,” the head of the agency’s enforcement division, Kim Helleberg-Madsen told NutraIngredients.

But he said the problem that had seen the agency confiscate 1500 boxes of unauthorised glucosamine, was not peculiar to the Danish market.

“The broader problem of illegal medicines is a big problem in a lot of countries,” he said. “There is a huge problem on the internet.”

The DMA warned that consumers who purchase illegal medicines are liable to a DK2500 fine.

It said it considered the Singapore-registered company behind the product, Helse Danmark A/S, to be fake.

Germany and France: EU Herbal Directive won’t damage us

By Shane Starling, 02-May-2011

The European Union Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) – fully implemented across the bloc after a seven-year transition period over the weekend – has been welcomed by German and French trade groups, even as opposition mounts against it.

While groups in the UK raise funds to mount a legal challenge against a regulation they believe places unfair burdens on the botanical products sector, and 500,000-signature strong petitions are raised by the group Avaaz in other parts of Europe, French and German trade groups say it is business as usual for their sectors.

The German Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (BAH) said the passing of the deadline for products to achieve THMPD registrations meant little because most of the 2500 or so herbal medicines on the German market had long ago been pre-approved under national botanical medicines rules.

“We do not have the problem that is being felt in the UK where there are so many products on the market without registrations,” the group’s head of herbal and homeopathic medicinal products, Dr Barbara Steinhoff told NutraIngredients this morning. “We have always supported the regulation because it guarantees safety, quality and efficacy.”

UK herbal industry concerns raised by THMPD deadline

By Shane Starling, 03-May-2011

The completion this week of the seven-year window for over-the-counter botanical products to comply with the 2004 Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) has only raised anxiety in the UK for the 1000s of products that haven’t as yet achieved registration under the scheme.

While member states like Germany and France say most products are in compliance with the regulation, the UK market is very different with most products not registered – a situation local trade groups, retailers and manufacturers are understandably concerned about.

Massive product recalls, restricted consumer choice, multi-herb blend bias and retailer closures have been predicted by various parties, perhaps none more vehemently than the Alliance for Natural Health Europe (ANH-EU), which has raised more than €100,000 for a legal challenge against the Directive.

“We have been working hard with stakeholders across Europe to bring this challenge and we are nearly ready to file,” said the group’s executive and scientific director, Robert Verkerk, PhD.

Protein player welcomes EFSA weight management guidance

By Shane Starling, 04-May-2011

Recently published draft weight management health claims guidance from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will help whey protein industry win claims, a leading supplier has said.

The guidance, along with others in bones, joints and teeth and antioxidants and cardiovascular issues, have been criticised for regurgitating what has already been published in individual opinions rather than offering guidance to win claims (something EFSA is under no obligation to do), but UK whey supplier Volac said the draft had value.

“We welcome EFSA open consultation and the additional guidance on the scientific requirements for health claims related to weight maintenance,” said Suzane Leser, nutrition manager for lifestyle ingredients at Volac and vice-chair the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), referring to EFSA’s call for stakeholder input until August 31 this year.