08 Mar Meeting with the Deputy Director of Health
The President and several Council Members made an appointment with the Deputy Director, Dr. T.H, Leung, on 6 July 2007 expressing industry’s opinion on the requirement for pharmaceutical product registration of health supplements containing vitamin or mineral. Since most health supplements are imported from overseas where they are not classified them as pharmaceuticals, certain documents required for registration application may not be available from the manufacturers. Small & middle enterprises can hardly afford the costs in obtaining those documents, in particular, the stability test report. The Association requested Department of Health to relax some of the document requirements because unlike drugs, health supplements are not for the treatment of diseases. The Deputy Director was willing to consider the suggestion. Signing of Memorandum of Understanding: In August 2007, more than 40 delegates from the Canadian Health Food Association led by the President / CE0, Ms. Penelope Marrett, visited Hong Kong for business matching activities. Earlier in the year, Ms. Marrett came to Hong Kong for preparation of the activity and had meetings with the HKHFA and related organizations. At the meeting, there was preliminary discussion on the cooperation between the two Associations. Through follow-up communication, both parties have reached consensus and have signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the business exchange forum organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council on 15 August. The collaboration aims to facilitate the exchange of information, relevant knowledge, technology, and regulatory affairs. Joining International Alliance: In December 2005, the Association has officially become an international member of the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Association (ISDSA) whose headquarters is based in Brussels, Belgium. The Organization has over 50 Association Members in different regions around the world. ISDSA provides a platform for Associations in different countries to exchange regulatory and policy information, to share research resources and market development news. Reclassification of Vitamin A Daily dose of 10,000 I.U. or above of vitamin A was re-scheduled from OTC class to doctor prescription class. This new regulation was passed by the legislative Council on 23 November 05 and was published in the gazette on 25 November 05. This new law will come into effect 30 days after the gazette publication, which is 25 December 05. Sale or display in general retail shops will be an offence. 2004 UMAO (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill The UMAO Amendment Bills Committee had its final meeting held on 3 June 2005 and published in the gazette on 8 July 2005. The Bill has went through second reading and third reading altogether on 29 June 2005. The new regulation permits 4 different designated versions of health claims for blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipid/cholesterol. When using these designated claims, the product label is required to carry a standardized disclaimer statement . 18-month grace period was proposed for amending product labels and promotional materials to suit the new regulation. In accordance to the request of the Bills Committee, the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau agrees to follow up six items after the passing of the new regulation.