At present, India does not have any kind of regulatory guidelines for approval and monitoring of such products. The official notification of these norms will check counterfeit products and encourage stakeholders to invest in this fast-growing industry.

According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the draft regulations have been framed for manufacture and sale of -- food or health supplements, nutraceuticals, foods for special dietary uses, foods for special medical purpose, functional foods and novel food. Comments will be accepted during the next 60 days. The norms will come into effect from the ensuing January 1 or July of the year, it said.

As per the norms, FSSAI stated, "No person shall manufacture, pack, sell, offer for sale, market or otherwise distribute or import any food products referred to in these regulations unless they comply with the requirements laid down in these regulations." The formulation of the foods should be based on sound medical or nutritional principles and supported by validated scientific data, wherever required.

FSSAI also cited that no hormones or steroids or psychotropic ingredients should be added in these foods. The labels should clearly mention the purpose, the target consumer group and the physiological or disease conditions which they address, apart from the specific labelling requirements as mentioned against each type of food. The labels, accompanying leaflets/or other labelling and advertising of all types of foods, referred to in these regulations, should provide sufficient information on the nature and purpose of the food as well as detailed instructions and precautions for their use, it said.

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