Posts Tagged ‘legislation’

Nutritional supplements

May 15, 2010

This morning the Times (Malta) published an article about where and who should be allowed to sell nutritional supplements. The current law states that “food supplements may only be dispensed by a pharmacist, doctor or a person with other suitable qualifications as may be laid down by the Food Safety Commission.”

(See http://www.doi.gov.mt/EN/press_releases/2010/05/pr0870e.asp)

The local Food Safety Commission is organising a training course for retailers in Health Food and similar stores to better understand the products they sell. Those who successfully attend for this course may then be approved by the Food Safety Commission to also be allowed to sell  food supplements. (For further details on this course call:  23952000.)

In Home Economics we teach that if a person is in good health and eats a  variety of foods from the different food groups they should be meeting their nutritional needs. However, we also teach that there are times during the lifecycle when a person may need to boost their nutritional intake for a while, or they may need to make up for deficiencies.

It is key that consumers make informed choices when seeking to use nutritional supplements. It is advisable not to buy supplements over the counter without knowing a little bit about the science of nutrition and how nutritional  supplements can interact with nutrients and healthy substances found naturally in food, or even with medication.

Here is the link to the Times article where I was also quoted.

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100515/local/only-trained-people-can-sell-food-supplements

Unfortunately, there is a slight imprecision in the last sentence. I had said that fat-soluble vitamins, such as A and D, are stored in the body and that excess can be harmful. They misquoted me slightly here.

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