Are Food Supplements Regulated in the UK?

In the UK we have a huge range of food supplements to choose from that can be purchased from many places, including health food shops, pharmacies, supermarkets and online. This post will shed light on how to know if your supplements are genuinely safely regulated, and what to look for to give you customer confidence.
A range of food supplements

All of the food supplements sold in the UK are regulated under ‘food law’ which sits under the over-arching Food Safety Act of 1990, that covers vitamin and mineral supplements, botanical or herbal products, protein supplements and many other miscellaneous supplement products such as probiotics.

By law, all supplement companies, including manufacturers, importers and distributors, in the UK have to follow the specific legislation set out on the Government Legislation Website under the ‘food supplements’ section, where twelve pieces of relevant legislation will be found and must be applied to every single person in the supplement chain. Any company or part of the chain that does not adhere to the legal legislation set out is breaking the law.

Currently, most of the food law in the UK comes from the European Union (EU) and has been enacted into UK law, however, now we have left the EU this may change. However, it still remains the manufacturers responsibility to comply with the set out legislation, as it does for the importers and distributors in the industry.

GMP Icon

What is the Good Manufacturing Practice?

You may have also heard or seen advertised the ‘Good Manufacturing Practice’ on food supplement brands. Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is a set of guidelines for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to strict quality standards.

It is a system of processes, procedures and documentation to assure a product has the identity, strength, composition, quality and purity that appear on its label. Meaning consumers that buy products that follow the GMP actually get what is stated on a supplement label.

As a certification standard it covers pharmaceutical drugs production only, that is to say you only get a GMP certificate if you produce these medicinal products. Whereas, when producing food supplements (not medicines) you do not get a certificate but must still follow the same high standards as when making pharmaceutical drugs.

Here, food supplements can only state they are manufactured to the GMP code of practice if they have met the legal criteria to do so, but they just won’t have been given the GMP certificate that pharmaceutical companies do. It is also important to remember that following the GMP is completely optional to all supplement brands, meaning those that do choose to follow it are going above and beyond what is required of them and this should be apparent in the end quality product.

Healers Gold Supplements Follows Food Law & GMP

All of our Healers Gold Supplements are manufactured in the UK to GMP Standards, which means the same strict procedures are met as when manufacturing pharmaceutical drugs, but as we touched on above, we just do not get a certificate as we are not selling pharmaceutical medicine.

Following the GMP ensures that the basic manufacturing practices and prerequisites necessary for product quality and safety are being followed. A unique Batch Number is assigned which follows each product through all stages of manufacture and delivery. This reference number is fully traceable at all stages of manufacture. This is how we at Healers Gold Supplements can guarantee you receive consistently high quality products from us.

The Healers Gold Supplement range also follows the strict food law that applies to food supplements, which can be verified by reading the UK government’s food supplement legislation.

Sources:

UK Food Supplement Legislation information
British Nutrition Foundation – Food Supplement factsheet
Good Manufacturing Practice

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