Transparency, traceability, natural products, organic products… companies and laboratories that sell food supplements have no shortage of words to describe their products.
But given the proliferation of ranges, certifications and food supplements with miracle formulas sold online, how can you navigate and make the right choice?
In this article, we dive into the heart of the subject and we give you some keys to better understand how food supplements are controlled in France.
The food supplement: a very regulated definition
In France and Europe , food supplements (vitamins, other trace elements, plant extracts, etc.) are regulated and defined by several regulations which are organized as follows:
- The general provisions concerning agricultural and food products which apply, within the European framework, with their French transcription, which can in certain cases be more restrictive (but not less): health standards, labeling etc.
- Specific regulations that apply to food supplements
Directive 2002/46 CE (and its transcription into French by Decrees No. 2006-352 of March 20, 2006 ) are the first texts which define food supplements according to 5 criteria:
- These are food products,
- Which complement the normal diet,
- Which constitute a concentrated source of nutrients or other substances,
- With a nutritional or physiological effect,
- In dose form, such as capsules, etc. intended to be taken in measured units of small quantity.
Public bodies involved in the control of food supplements in France:
ANSES and the DGCCRF are two of these organizations whose measures apply to all products in France, whatever their origins.
- ANSES (national agency for health and food safety):
ANSES defines the framework, standards and publishes opinions that apply to food supplements and the ingredients associated with them.
- The DGCCRF (general directorate for consumer affairs, fraud prevention)
The Dgccrf is responsible for operational control of the conformity of food supplements marketed in France by acting at two levels:
- With an OBLIGATION of declaration to the Dgccrf for all food supplements marketed in France. The Dgccrf verifies the conformity of the formula and labeling and assigns a registration number to approved products.
This is the document that you can find on all of our product sheets.
- Through compliance checks in the field, random or upon notification.
The increase in online sales also increases the marketing of products that do not comply with French and European regulations.
If in doubt, it is prudent to ask the seller for the product registration number with the Dgccrf.
Private or associative organizations for quality control of food supplements
Private or associative organizations are also involved in the management and quality control of food supplements.
Synadiet: professional union of food supplement manufacturers:
- Privileged contact for administrative authorities for regulatory developments;
- Develops the 'Good Manufacturing Practices' (GMP) rules that apply to supplements.
Certifying bodies (Veritas, Ecocert etc.): for the control and certification of AB products in particular, by delegation of competence granted by the DGccrf.
Please note: for vegan products, certifications are carried out by private organizations which have established the rules well before any official definition (Vegetarian Society, Vegan Society etc.)
Consumer associations (UFC what to choose, etc.) which carry out spot checks and report consumer comments to the administrations concerned.
Food Supplements declared in France are well-controlled, safe and transparent products for consumers, with well-defined doses and realistic claims: demand the Dgccrf declaration which eliminates products with dangerous formulas or with misleading or far-fetched claims!
Argalys Essential food supplements
Our Argalys Essentiels food supplements respect all of these measures.
All our products are manufactured in production units approved by the Synadiet charter (controlled by Bureau Veritas).
For our entire range of Argalys Essentiels food supplements , we have chosen, for the sake of transparency, to publish the DGCCRF declarations for each product (See the sheets associated with each of our products).
Finally, all our products are certified Vegan by The Vegetarian Society and our Immuno Tonus supplement is AB Certified by Ecocert.
The Argalys team