To strengthen the safety of food supplements in South Korea, in July 2020, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) proposed to add “Precautions for Use” warnings to the label of food products. The proposed changes are applicable to food products with nine categories of ingredients. These nine categories include chromium, beta-carotene, vitamin K, B1, B2, B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and potassium.

According to the modifications proposed by the MFDS, food product manufacturers should include the precaution “in the event of an abnormality, discontinue consumption and consult an expert”. The proposal also suggest that additional precautionary statements must be included for four of the ingredients. The suggested precautions are:

  • Manufacturers must mention the precaution “consult a specialist when taking anti-coagulants” on food supplements containing vitamin K
  • For food products with potassium, manufacturers must add advice for consumers with kidney or gastro-intestinal diseases to consult a doctor
  • The MFDS requires food products with beta-carotene and chromium to display precautionary warnings on the label for smokers and diabetic patients, respectively

In addition to this, the Agency has also proposed new testing methods for five types of vitamins, viz., Vitamin D, B2, B6, B12, and biotin. The purpose of suggesting these new testing methods was to improve the analysis of health functional foods and their nutritional content.

With the proposed changes, the MFDS is aiming to provide accurate product safety information to the consumers of food supplements with specified ingredients. As you may know, the public consultation for the proposal ended on July 31, 2020. Upon proposal acceptance, food supplement manufacturers will have to comply with the updated labeling regulations. Until then, food and food supplement manufacturers are advised to keep a track of the evolving regulations for compliance. Stay informed. Stay compliant.


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