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Why is There No Expiration Date on My Vitamins?

Question: Why is there no expiration date on my vitamins?

Swanson Health Products has made the switch from printing "Best Before" dates (also referred to as expiration dates) on bottles of Swanson brand vitamins and supplements to printing "Manufacture" dates. The change was made in order to keep SHP in compliance with the regulations set forth in the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency that oversees the manufacture and labeling of dietary supplements, does not require an expiration date on dietary supplements but requires that if one is used, it must be supported by stability testing data. However, as these regulations are still evolving, FDA has yet to define what they consider to be adequate data.

The GMP guidelines for dietary supplements are more in line with pharmaceutical GMPs. In order to be 100% compliant with our industry’s new GMPs, we label our Swanson brand products with "Manufacture" dates. However, we will continue to require that all our products and ingredients maintain their quality, purity and potency for the traditionally expected time frame of two years (one year for probiotics and some liquid supplements). Conventional foods and cosmetic products, which are regulated differently, will continue to be labeled with "Best Before" dates.

It is important to know that there has been no change in the products themselves, unless otherwise specified. The new "Manufacture Date" printed on the labels represents the date upon which the product was produced and is your assurance of quality and freshness. We will also continue to test and study our products to assure they will meet the expected shelf-life, which again is 2 years for most products and 1 year for probiotic supplements and some liquid supplements.
 

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