Problems and challenges of companies for the sale of food supplements online
The sale of food supplements online proliferated in recent years due to the competitiveness of online prices and the use of secure payment methods, according to the European Union (EU) in a recent study. Given this trend, the Member States have the challenge of ensuring that all companies that sell food supplements online are registered, since there are still companies that are not and that they do not comply with the Community parameters.
The sale of food supplements online is still an insignificant amount compared to other foods sold on the network, but the EU expects to continue increasing in the coming years. The rise of this trend, which will bring new market niches, on the other hand has encouraged the emergence of operators of unregistered food businesses in which Member States have little margin of control because the resources allocated to this area are relatively limited.
In 2017, the General Directorate of Health and Food Safety of the Europeam Commission initiated a study that has been recently published: “Official controls on food sales on the Internet in the EU Member States”. This details that almost 1,100 websites were verified and about 740 products were found that did not meet certain regulatory requirements. 425 referred to unauthorized Novel Foods and 315 food supplements incorporated false or unauthorized health claims. Also, a large part of the breaches were related to labeling and some cases of Internet sales were detected that incorporated dangerous substances.
The problem to detect these companies is that they try to avoid official controls by changing their digital identity, the content of their website or, for example, by re-registering in a market with a different name. The challenge of the States is to ensure that the sale of food supplements marketed on the Internet respects community regulations, are healthy and of quality.
For this reason, from now on, cooperation and information exchange between member countries will be essential in order to ensure consumer safety. As we mentioned in a recent post, all companies related to the food sector, including those that sell supplements and food supplements, must register with the General Registry of Food and Food Companies if they market online.
To learn more about the registration procedure, take a look at our posts and if you have any questions, contact our Legalego specialist consultants.