Navigating the complex world of food supplement labels can be a daunting task for both consumers and manufacturers. Each country has its own set of regulations governing what must be included on a supplement label.
This blog aims to provide a clear overview of the legal requirements for food supplement labels in three major markets: the USA, the UK, and the UAE.
Food Supplement Labelling in the USA
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the labelling of food supplements, known as dietary supplements. Key requirements include:
- Identity Statement: The label must clearly state the name of the supplement.
- Net Quantity of Contents: The amount of the supplement in the package should be specified.
- Nutrition Labelling: This includes a Supplement Facts panel that lists the active ingredients per serving, as well as other ingredients like fillers, binders, and flavourings.
- Ingredient List: All ingredients must be listed, and if it contains a blend of ingredients, the blend must be identified.
- Manufacturer Information: The name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor must be included.
- Serving Size Instructions: The label should recommend how much of the product should be taken.
- Health Claims: Any health claims must be substantiated and in compliance with FDA guidelines.
Food Supplement Labelling in the UK
In the United Kingdom, food supplements are regulated under the Food Safety Act and must comply with EU directives where applicable. The key labelling requirements include:
- Product Name: The label must clearly state that it is a food supplement.
- Product Weight or Count: This must be clearly identified in the line of site of the product name.
- List of Nutrients or Substances: The label must detail the vitamins and minerals, or other substances, with their quantities.
- Recommended Daily Dosage: Clear instructions on how much of the supplement should be consumed daily.
- Warning Statements: Any potential side effects or warnings must be clearly stated.
- Batch Number and Best Before: The batch number and the best before date must be visible.
- Contact Details: Information about the manufacturer or distributor should be included.
- Allergen Information: Any allergens must be clearly indicated on the label.
Food Supplement Labelling in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates’ food supplement labelling is governed by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA). The main requirements include:
- Product Name: The label must specify that the product is a supplement.
- Ingredient List: All ingredients in the supplement must be listed, including the quantities of main nutrients.
- Directions for Use: Clear instructions on how the supplement should be consumed.
- Manufacturer and Distributor Information: Names and addresses of the manufacturer and local distributor must be included.
- Lot Number and Expiry Date: These should be clearly stated for tracking and quality control.
- Warning and Advisory Statements: Any warnings or advice for specific groups (like pregnant women) should be included.
Understanding the legalities of food supplement labelling is crucial for compliance and consumer safety.
While there are similarities in labelling requirements across the USA, UK, and UAE, there are also distinct differences reflective of each region’s regulatory approach. Both consumers and manufacturers must be aware of these requirements to ensure informed choices and regulatory compliance.
Contact us if you would like to speak to our team about labeling your products.