January 29/Tokyo/Asia Pulse -- Japan's Toyo Shinyaku Co. has been certified by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to produce and handle dietary supplements under new standards put in place last year.

The FDA previously set standards only for foods and medicines, but last June, it added a separate set of regulations for dietary supplements. The new rules concern what the FDA has dubbed Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling, or Holding Operations for Dietary Supplements. After a grace period, supplements made in factories that have not been certified under the new standards will not be permitted into the United States.

Toyo Shinyaku received certification for its Tosu factory in Saga Prefecture, where nearly all of the company's dietary supplements are manufactured. The company has a line of 112 products that have been designated by the Health Ministry as Foods for Specified Health Use -- the most of any company in Japan.

With demand for certified supplements expected to grow among those exporting products to the U.S., Toyo Shinyaku aims to boost the number of clients supplied on a contract basis by 20 per cent to 220 companies.

The FDA's quality-control standards are stricter than the requirements set in Japan's Food Sanitation Law.

From the February 4, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash