Belgian-based dietary supplement association, the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplements Associations (IADSA), this week announced that associations from Hong Kong, Poland and Hungary are soon to become members.
The new additions will bring current IADSA membership to 38 associations representing more than 9,000 manufacturers and distributors of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements and representing an estimated 75 per cent of the global industry which has annual consumer sales of approximately $40 billion (E45.4bn) nearly 30 per cent of the nutrition products market.
"All of this has happened in the four years since we launched IADSA" said chairman Randy Dennin. "IADSA fulfils a unique role in helping to ensure sensible and harmonious international food regulations. National controls are not enough if the world's consumers are to have equal access to the choice of food supplements and if producers are to meet that requirement efficiently and safely. It is IADSA's task to represent the views of national associations and their members in shaping global policies that affect dietary supplements and in driving for workable and responsible regulations".
According to a statement this week, IADSA is actively encouraging the creation of dietary supplement associations wherever there are gaps at national and regional levels and is supporting them with guidance on procedures and exchange of experience.
Bruce Dennison, president of the Health Product Association of South Africa, who is seeking to establish a harmonious regulatory system for the whole of the Sub-Sahara region, stressed the benefits of an independent global body.
"Governments in the third world are more likely to listen to an independent global body rather than a national organisation or an individual company," he said.
The dietary supplement industry is still in its infancy, current legislation, or lack of, clearly reflects this fact. The growth of a global body that represents the industry could, arguably, guide legislation towards universal parity, instead of today's fragmentation.