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Japan moves to regulate supplements as foods

The US dietary supplement industry can expect a larger piece of the Japanese pie, following an announcement that the Japanese government will work toward a reclassification of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other dietary supplements as foods instead of drugs. Currently, US firms hold only a 7 percent market share in Japan, or about $438 million of the country's $6 billion supplement market. The US-Japanese trade agreement also covers deregulation efforts in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, telecommunications, housing, financial services, and energy.

The Tan Sheet, May 17, 1999.

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