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ICMR to form standards for probiotic products by 2010

The standards for the probiotic product market in the country is to be laid down by the Indian Council of Medical Research by early 2010.

Although the guidelines would be voluntary initially, ICMR expects them to become part of statute eventually and see it becoming the guiding document to determine standards for the probiotic industry in the country. "These guidelines would have a provision for assessment of efficacy, safety and health claims made by the probiotic products that are being launched and would define a set of parameters required for a product to be classified as probiotic," said VM Katoch, director general, ICMR. He further said stringent labeling of the probiotic product with strain specification, viable numbers at the end of shelf life, storage conditions would prevent misleading the consumer.