UK group Consumers for Health Choice (CHC) has increased lobbying efforts to amend the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) in the UK by taking out full page adverts in The House magazine read by UK parliamentarians.
Also citing concerns with the Food Supplements Directive’s (FSD) as-yet unresolved maximum permitted levels for nutrients, CHC urged the members of parliament to oppose elements of the regulations it believes could devastate the UK food supplements industry.
Solutions for non-existent problems?
“The FSD debate now centres on the setting of Maximum Permitted Levels – with France and Germany pushing for unnecessarily low levels, substantially below those currently legal and safely available in the UK,” the advert states.
“Recently, Zac Goldsmith MP described this EU legislation as, ‘a classic case of an enormous solution being brought in for a problem that doesn’t exist.’”
It goes on: “The NHCR intends to regulate nutrition and health claims for food and health products. False claims, it seems to us, were already illegal in UK law under a wide range of trading standards regulations, and policed effectively in large part by the Advertising Standards Authority and Trading Standards Officers.”
“Overzealous implementation of the Regulations will deny consumers access to basic information about products and their intended use and we query why this regulation was ever necessary and whether even at this late stage you can intervene to encourage the European Union to pause.”
“The views of the 21 million British supplement takers need to be strongly represented by the UK Government at Brussels – sadly, this has not been happening.”
It concludes by urging the MPs, “to speak to Government and advance the British consumer’s cause before it is too late.”
About 2200 general function, article 13 NHCR claim approvals and rejections have just been sent to the European Parliament and are expected to be ratified there within the next three months.
At that point companies will have six months to remove any banned claims from products across the EU.
MPLs are an aspect of the FSD that is yet to be resolved due to polarised debates between the likes of France and Germany that have campaigned for lower MPLs for most nutrients.
Country’s like the UK and the Netherlands that are used to higher levels argue there is no good scientific safety reason to set levels so low, adding they would devastate the health of their respective food supplement industries.