Are supplements under EU threat?

  • 22 Nov 2010
  • Reading time 2 mins
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In the past few weeks I’ve received a lot of emails from people who have been told that just about everything is going to be banned in the EU from next April. So I thought I’d let you know what is going on and what you can do about it.

The Vitamin and Mineral Directive is, and has been waiting for some years now, on agreement on the final section, which relates to the setting of Upper Safety Levels. If these are wisely set there will be no conflict with existing products. If they are overly restrictive we have a fight on our hands. Exactly what to fight will not be known until the proposed levels are released for consultation with the EU Member States. I will know as soon as this happens and, at that point I will let you know if there is a worthwhile action for you to take to protect your right to take safe supplements. Right now it is well worth you writing a physical letter in your own words, not an email, to Mr Dalli, the EU commissioner. The more people who do this the better. Click here for a draft letter. More tricky is the Herbal Medicines Directive. Herbs are basically split into ‘food’ herbs (such as ginger, turmeric etc) and ‘medicinal’ herbs. Seven years ago companies selling medicinal herbs were asked to either licence their product or register their product according to the terms of this act. Very few have and the seven years is up in April. In my opinion this shows that this directive doesn’t really work and yes, it would be a great shame if we lose access to a number of medicinal herbs. However, this is not my area of expertisie and a medicinal herb is not a nutrient so there are grounds for some control. In truth, I don’t know what’s going to happen come April. As the law stands those companies who have license or registered herbs will be fine, and those that haven’t will be required to stop selling unless a targeted campaign is set up to change this directive. If I hear of a targeting action that I think has some chance of influence in this area I will let you know.