Industry participation in the harmonization of food supplements in ASEAN is recognized by the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Policy Guide to Standards and Compliance. AAHSA, as the regional representative of the health supplement industry, has a seat at the table of the ten ASEAN governments at the ACCSQ meetings, including their product working group and the scientific committee. He continued: “Harmonization is a catalyst to attract investment from health supplement players, both in the region and in other parts of the world, in creating the conditions for the prosperity of ASEAN`s complementary enterprises, resulting in increased production capacity, research and development, economic growth and job creation in the region.” In addition, it is recognized that growth on the worldum.a. for dietary supplements is an opportunity for ASEAN to take advantage of its position as a world leader in this sector, particularly in the field of plant-based ingredients, which benefit from the importance of biodiversity in the region. Daniel Quek said that harmonization will give a significant boost to the food supplement market in the region. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) aims to create ASEAN as a single market, production base and economic region by 2020. This economic community is created by the regional integration of the following priority sectors: agricultural products, air transport, automotive, e-ASEAN, electronics, fisheries, health, rubber products, textiles and clothing, tourism, wood products, logistics and other sectors identifiable by ASEAN for economic integration. The health sector includes medicines, cosmetics, medical devices, traditional medicines and dietary supplements. In 2007, ASEAN decided to accelerate the creation of this ASEAN economic region by 2015. The ASEAN bodies involved in harmonizing the technical requirements for dietary supplements are: The report: ASEAN Road to Harmonization, presents the context of the agreement and shows how industry organisations and regulators have worked closely together on the details. It was published by the ASEAN Alliance of Health Supplement Associations (AAHSA) and the International Alliance of Food and Food Associations (IADSA).
To ensure consumer safety, a list of negative content, made up of substances harmful to health, is being developed. The list of banned ingredients for use in dietary supplements will be based on scientific reasons. A framework of health claims similar to that developed by the Codex Alimentarius Global Food Standards Committee for Health Claims has been put in place and more detailed requirements for a common system are now needed.