Malaysia Herbal Food Product Labels: Does It Guide the Consumers for Reasonable and Safe Use?
Keywords:Food product; Herbal dietary supplement; Regulation; Label.
All commercial products typically come in colourful packaging with text, figures, and graphics. The food regulations control the content and style of food labels so that customers could make decision whether or not to make a purchases. This study aimed to analyse the primary and secondary labels of herbal food products and supplements regulated under the Food Safety and Quality Division (FSQD) which is responsible to oversee food safety within the supply chain. The article employs a cross-sectional, descriptive study of 97 samples labels for herbal food products and supplements. A script was prepared to verify a uniform standard for labelling based on the legislation of Food Act 1983, Food Regulations 1985 (commercial name, herbal plant name, product form, list of ingredients, nutrient content, net weight/volume, serving recommendation, company name, name and address of the manufacturer, food additives, date marking and preservation care). Overall, 82.47% of the products were regulated under FSQD, 15.46% were regulated under NPRA, and 2.06% were classified as others. Others indicate an absence of information on product packaging which is a standard in labelling requirements. The findings offer a guide to consumers for reasonable and safe use in the form of perception. It allows consumers to verify safety based on packaging before making purchase decisions or influencing their choice in consuming a desired food or supplement product.