EDITOR'S SPOTLIGHT: SCIENCE & REGULATION

Spanish authorities aim for greater supplement transparency with online product database

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

©AESAN
©AESAN

Related tags: AESAN, database, public

The Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) makes available an online resource that lists details of food supplements and infant formula products marketed in Spain, which they say promotes greater transparency.

The resource​, ​available on AESAN’s website, aims to provide public access to information previously accessible to competent authorities and includes tools to identify foods for specific population groups for sale in the country.

The database also enables users to identify the trade name, registration details and the competent authority responsible for approving the product.

“The information identifies food companies registered in Spain that produce and market products of animal origin authorised in the European Union in accordance with Regulation 853/2004,”​ says AESAN.

“Spanish legislation requires effective control of these types of food, with the obligation on companies that commercialise them in Spain to communicate before the competent authorities.”

Welcome step

“It is a welcome step towards transparency,”​ adds Luca Bucchini, managing director of Hylobates Consulting

“The resource will make checking the notification status of products easier for businesses during the process, which normally takes one month.

“Also, it will make it easier for consumers to check if products they are buying, especially online, have gone through the legally required steps for marketing in Spain.

“There is an even stronger case for compliance also for online retailers that sell across borders or on platforms such as Amazon.

“Although it does require regulatory knowledge, Spanish authorities at the central level have improved and simplified the process for EU businesses that do not have an office in Spain.”

Like most food authorities in Europe, AESAN have had to contend with the rise in e-commerce across country borders along with the influx of supplements, among other products originating from Asia and the Indian sub-continent in particular.

With this freedom of choice, comes a heightened risk to the general public, who may be unaware of the product’s origins or its status with the relevant authority – something the online resource aims to address.

AESAN recalls

AESAN recently have had to contend with several nutritional products​ that flagged up safety concerns.

Bull Sport Nutrition’s ‘Anabolic Door Sabor Fruit Punch (L047219) and Anabolic Door Limon Fruit Punch ((L061619) protein powders available in three-kilogram (Kg) containers were confirmed to contain undeclared sulphites.

AESAN also warned of the presence of an ingredient derived from undeclared fish in the hydrolysed collagen product produced by Natur Nutrition with one lot withdrawn from the market but was sold to consumers through Amazon.

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