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EU Foods Supplements Directive - Update January 2007
As many website readers will already know, the EU Foods Supplements Directive threatens to ban many nutritional supplements in the UK and the rest of Europe, and drastically lower the dosage amounts of those allowed to remain.
Despite the legal challenge against it, the Directive became law on 1 August 2005 by the European Court of Justice.
You may not have noticed any changes as yet - partly because thousands of supplements remain available thanks to specialist manufacturers who submitted safety dossiers for substances omitted from the Directive’s Positive list and because the UK currently has a temporary exemption - this is due to expire in 2009, when it is calculated that at least 5,000 products will cease to be legally available.
The EU is about to set new maximum dose levels for vitamins and minerals under Article 5 of the Directive, which has yet to be implemented.
This matter is crucial. Depending on the dose levels it sets, consumers across Europe could lose access to safe, higher potency products that they currently rely on to help fight a range of ailments including cancer and the side-effects of it treatment.
Article 5 states that the maximum amounts of vitamins and minerals present in food supplements shall be set taking into account a number of factors which include scientific evidence of safety, intake of vitamins and minerals from other dietary sources, and the population reference intakes for those nutrients (not a measure of safety, just the amount needed to avoid diseases of nutritional deficiency).
BUT the Directive does not define what “taking into account” actually means, giving the EU Commission considerable flexibility. There is a real risk that it will propose restrictive amounts in line with France, Germany, and most Member States who want lower levels to be set.
The process is already under way and needs to be influenced now. If not, many higher range nutrients could be lost long before 2009.
The Alliance for Natural Health is asking for your support. Please writie to your local MP to ask him/her to lobby the Secretary for Health (Patricia Hewitt MP) to continue to dialogue with the European Commission to secure "national derogation" for Britain, to make sure we do not lose our safe and effective supplements.
You can find out about your
MP from http://www.locata.co.uk/commons or