The decision to transfer the affiliation of the registration of nutritional supplements from the Egyptian Food Safety Authority to the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) under the name of complementary supplements is an ill-advised decision, according to Mohamed Sobeih — Member of the Chamber of Food Industries.
“We do not know the decision’s purpose and it will have a negative impact on companies, ushering in ruin and instigating the exit of investors and liquidation, benefitting a few pharmaceutical companies only,” Sobeih said.
Sobeih also noted that the number of companies working in the field of nutritional supplements is about 3,000, and the number of products actually registered with the Food Safety Authority exceeds 4,000.
He added that the number of direct employees in these companies are estimated at approximately 100,000 people, and that the number of indirect dealers in the field of nutritional supplements has reached about 500,000, explaining that the damage here affects about 600,000 families with an estimated range of 2-2.5 million individuals.
He further pointed out that about 3,000 companies have an average expenditure of around EGP 2m with a total of EGP 6bn, and the stock of companies between produced goods, goods under production, raw materials for manufacturing (effective and ineffective) and packaging materials is estimated at nearly EGP 4bn.
Additionally, the number of factories that have been licensed or are under construction are about 12, with an average cost of EGP 360m.
Sobeih then elaborated that companies import raw materials with a value not less than EGP 3bn, in addition to losing export opportunities or at least disrupting export for several years, which is estimated at about EGP 500m annually.
He also explained that the total financial losses range from EGP 13.5bn to EGP 14bn.
“The new republic established the Food Safety Authority in accordance with international laws and regulations that transform Egypt from an importing country to a producing and exporting one. This authority solved a crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the facilities that came out from it, which contrasted with the bureaucratic system of the EDA, which takes five to six years to register a drug,” he said.
“We were unable to export our products because there was no entity available to register them in a timely manner.”
Sobeih then called on the state to intervene and ensure the stability of investments in the nutritional supplements sector.