The Singaporean government plans to institute new laws by the middle of 2004 to regulate the sale of health supplements in the country. This decision was made in response to two deaths, one of a local actress, occurring in 2002 as a result of liver failure due to consumption of health supplements. However, the health supplement industry in Singapore has already responded to the heightened concern over its products by establishing the Health Supplements Industry Association of Singapore (HSIAS).
The association currently has 30 members together accounting for more than 70% of health supplement products sold in Singapore. Its members include large brand name companies such as Brand’s, Guardian, Nature’s Farm, and NuSkin. The association has already announced its intentions to compile a code of ethics for the industry to prevent future incidents. The association will also launch educational programs to provide consumers and businesses more information about the ingredients used in health supplements. The programs will also emphasize the need to purchase health supplements from reliable sources.
Singapore’s health supplements industry has grown from a $2 million industry since 1987 to a $150 million industry today. Presently, the government does not have any specific laws regulating health supplements. They are indirectly regulated by guidelines found in the Medicines Act and the Poisons Act.