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  • The National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST) is working on an amendment to the Food and Drug Safety Act, to identify nutraceuticals as a special category.
  • Director General at the NCST, Professor Errol Morrison, speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on November 27, noted that Cabinet has already received the submission as it relates to the amendment.
  • He explained that across the country, persons are making claims about various potions and products, which he said the NCST “is not negating, but wants to ensure that the public is protected”.

The National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST) is working on an amendment to the Food and Drug Safety Act, to identify nutraceuticals as a special category.

Director General at the NCST, Professor Errol Morrison, speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on November 27, noted that Cabinet has already received the submission as it relates to the amendment.

He explained that across the country, persons are making claims about various potions and products, which he said the NCST “is not negating, but wants to ensure that the public is protected”.

Professor Morrison said the Commission is working with a wide cross section of stakeholders, looking at getting the nutraceuticals properly identified, including information about who the producers are, how and where the products are being made, and ensuring that they adhere to some minimum international standards.

The Director General identifies nutraceuticals as the fastest growing aspect of the health industry today.

“Whilst a pharmaceutical is a drug used to treat diseases, the nutraceutical is really an extract from a plant, animal or mineral that could possibly help [in] a disease process,” he explained.

He said that sometimes they could be further clarified by small clinical trials, but indicated that they do not go through the robust details as formulating a drug.

Therefore, the Professor noted that one of the quickest ways of getting the products out there is through the nutraceutical process, as it is less costly.

In the meantime, Professor Morrison said that the Government is also finalising a Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) policy, which should be in place in 2019.