“China-free” labels for dietary supplements

Three months ago, I predicted the China pet food contamination would have implications for the supplements industry.

Now, Food for Health International, which sells through the Internet, has announced it will start labeling boxes for its dietary supplements with a sticker that reads “safe” and “China-free.”

The Orem, Utah-based manufacturer claims it’s looking to distinguish its organic products from synthetic vitamin ingredients, which it says come mainly from China.

According to an article at Nutra USA Ingredients, consumers are not aware that 90% of vitamin ingredients sold in the US are synthetically derived. However, they are increasingly aware of Chinese ingredients and the related contamination scares.

The bottom line?
Is the labeling initiative just a thinly disguised way for domestic producers to muscle out the highly competitive sector of Chinese ingredients? Is it blatant xenophobia?

I think source labeling fills a need, and could be viewed as a socially conscious service by manufacturers. But the best move would be to simply tell us where the ingredients come from, rather than where they don’t.

7/21/07 18:17 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.