Indonesia’s Functional Food Industry Plagued By False Claims

  • Monday, 01 May 2017 00:00
  • Published in Business News
  • Read 850 times

False health claims are still prevalent in Indonesia even though functional food rules are stricter, said a new association to improve the food industry.

Indonesia's National Agency of Drug and Food (BPOM) declared in 2016 that functional food with health claims have to be approved, and that food manufacturers have to ensure all health claims have evidence that have been scientifically proven, as well as have research papers published in journals.

The head of Indonesia’s National Agency of Drug and Food Control’s has announced rules on the Control of Claim on Processed Food Labelling and Advertisement—that foods which claim to be nutritious or healthy for consumers have to be scientifically proven before it can be sold to the market.

Professor Dr C.Hanny Wijaya, chairman for the Indonesian Society for Functional Food and Nutraceutical (ISFFN), said that BPOM’S more stringent rules have not been in place long enough to effectively assess its success on Indonesia’s functional food industry. The ISFFN is currently placing priority on ensuring Indonesians are capable in discerning the health benefits of functional foods, to prevent them from being duped by manufacturers who make false claims on health and nutrition benefits in their food products.

Indonesia’s local market has traditional herbal remedies such as jamu, which is made from natural materials using parts of plants such as roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits. However, false claims about the traditional medicine are often spread around, and consumers have been quick to fall victim to it.

The ISFFN said the Indonesian government will be carrying out stricter rules to ensure safety and quality of the functional food industry. The ISFFN will be prioritising in educating consumers on the scientific data and health benefits of functional foods, as well as working to improve the industry.

Professor Wijaya hopes that with the stricter implementations, Indonesia’s functional food industry will expand, and that trust will be placed into their local products by international markets.

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