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The government wants to limit the advertising and sale of dietary supplements

The government is developing a bill to restrict the advertising of dietary supplements, which fools pensioners and forces them to buy drugs instead. So, according to opinion polls, 60% of Russians believe that “bioadditive is a medicine, or even stronger than a medicine”.

Advertising of dietary supplements (hereinafter Supplements) to food may be limited. In order to prevent the unfair dissemination of information, the Ministry of Health and Social Development has developed a bill that tightens control over the advertising of dietary supplements. This is not the first time that an activity in one way or another related to the sale of supplements that are not identifiable as a medicine or food product, the nutritional properties of which, in fact, have not been proven, is being tried to limit, reports INTERFAX.

So, in November 2009, a bill was introduced in the State Duma that criminalizes the production, storage and marketing of counterfeit medicines and dietary supplements, if such actions caused harm to health or led to death of a person. “Manufacturers of fake drugs and dietary supplements will go to jail for a long time,” Anton Belyakov, author of this legislative initiative, member of the Just Russia faction, told Interfax then.

The head of Rospotrebnadzor Gennady Onishchenko emphasized that in the production and circulation of dietary supplements, violations such as unsatisfactory sanitary and technical conditions of production facilities, lack of documents confirming the safety of raw materials, production of dietary supplements without a certificate of state registration, lack of production control over products, non-compliance with conditions are most often detected storage supplements. In addition, outside the established standards, dietary supplements are often retailed, including through remote sales or through distributors. Also, in many cases, the sale of dietary supplements is carried out without documents confirming their state registration, and the information on the label does not meet the requirements. There are cases of the absence on the label of the ingredient composition of dietary supplements, information about biologically active substances, the source of which is dietary supplement for food, contraindications to the use of dietary supplements, information that dietary supplement is not a medicine.

Also in December 2009, the State Duma introduced another bill related to dietary supplements: it forbade the sale of dietary supplements outside pharmacies. According to Belyakov, “the so-called specialized stores through the media lure buyers with colorful advertisements of” miracle pills “and sell their often falsified goods.” The bill also introduces the obligation for pharmacy workers to inform the buyer that the dietary supplement does not have medicinal properties, noted Belyakov. “For violation of this rule, administrative liability is established,” he added. As the parliamentarian noted, according to opinion polls, up to 60% of Russians believe that “a dietary supplement is either a medicine, or even“ stronger than a medicine, ”which means that such education is simply necessary.”

According to the deputy, the bill also imposes a number of strict requirements on bioadditive instructions. “Manufacturers should not mention the names of diseases or their symptoms in the instructions, as this creates an illusion for the consumer that the supplement is intended to cure this disease; that is, the phrase” helps from “should disappear, which is also associated with medicinal properties in the consumer’s mind “, The deputy emphasized.

In March 2010, the head of the Ministry of Health and Social Development Tatyana Golikova, answering questions from senators in the discussion of the draft law on the circulation of medicines, said that dietary supplements are not currently regulated by law, since they are not medicines. “Now the technical regulation on food safety is being developed, and in accordance with these regulations there will be a separate regulation on dietary supplements and their registration will be tightened,” Golikova said. In October, she added that dietary supplements generally do not belong to the statement governing the circulation of drugs, simply because they are food additives “and their circulation is regulated by food law and the relevant technical regulation on food safety, which is currently being developed.” The Minister also noted that this technical regulation should be harmonized with the legislation of the Customs Union.

However, despite the fact that all these debates in government circles and at the highest level have been discussed for more than one year, officials, oddly enough, have not come to any consensus, and from whom the Customs Union will have to charge a quota – from the dietary supplement the food product or as with the medicinal product is unknown. It is only known that the last bill to restrict the advertising of dietary supplements was developed in connection with the numerous complaints that came from consumers in the Ministry of Health and Social Development of Russia.

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