Nearly 7,000 miles from California, U.S. regulators have placed personnel on the ground to improve food safety in the world’s most populated country: China. But American companies producing and selling dietary supplements cannot rely exclusively on the U.S. and Chinese governments to ensure ingredients sourced from Asia are safe and meet specifications.
It is not enough, for instance, to rely on documents that claim an ingredient supplier in China complies with U.S. regulations. Audit your ingredient suppliers and verify documents provided from a supplier coincide with what’s actually happening on the ground. It also is important to retain local staff or consultants, if possible, and visit your vendors.
Some Chinese firms are demonstrating a commitment to meeting American standards set by FDA, as reflected by the growing number of companies that have joined NSF International’s audit program for dietary supplement cGMPs (current good manufacturing practices).
Meanwhile, U.S. and local regulators are pressuring Chinese suppliers to step up their quality control. Food-safety scandals and the increased number of products imported into the United States from China have required FDA to step up its presence there and enhance collaborations with local regulators. Complementing regulators’ efforts in China is the nearly four-year-old Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), whose provisions include a mandate to ramp up foreign inspection and a program that requires food importers to verify compliance with FDA regulations.
To read the full report, download “Sourcing Ingredients From China: ‘Verify and Trust.’"