Dietary Supplements: EU Law

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 10th July 2007.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

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.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

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.

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Mr Raymond Neal
Posted on 11 Jul 2007 3:39 pm (Report this annotation)

I am not what you may call a stakeholder but I am a serious consumer.
At the time of writing I take the following supplements:-
Vitamin a,
Vitamin b,(high dose)
Vitamin C (around 14 grams a day)
Vitamin d, 5,000 IU per day.
First of all, I must state that I am 79 years old.
Since taking these extra vitamins I feel 20 years younger,
Have much more muscle tone, and
feel wonderful.
I am afraid however that if I am restricted on the amount of vitamins I can buy then my general health will deteriorate and I will not only suffer ill health but will become an extra burden on the NHS.
Please believe me. I have trawled through endless pages of scientific and medical literature and have used same as an experiment on myself. I have been amazed what a difference it has made.
PLEASE, PLEASE do not give in to any restriction by the EU to cut the amount of vitamins and minerals that I can buy.
Mr Ray Neal, Coventry, England