To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
(1) what representations he has received on the EU food supplements directive;
(2) what assessment he has made of the potential impact of imposing maximum permitted levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements.
I have been asked to reply.
A number of representations have been received on the interpretation and implementation of the food supplements directive, highlighting concerns regarding the possibility that the European Commission (EC) intend to propose restrictive daily dose levels for vitamin and mineral supplements and the potential consequent loss of consumer choice.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recently carried out an informal consultation on an initial regulatory impact assessment (RIA) that sets out the current position in the United Kingdom with respect to food supplements and seeks information from stakeholders to measure the potential impact in advance of future EC proposals for setting daily dosage levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements. The information will be used to inform the draft RIA, which will then be subject to a formal consultation process. Since we do not yet know what the Commission will propose, the FSA sought information on a wide range of possible options.
The impact assessment will be updated to take account of future Commission papers and a full public consultation will be carried out when the Commission publish proposals. The UK negotiating position on maximum levels will take into account all stakeholder comments.