UK Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt has raised the controversial topic of maximum permitted levels (MPLs) of nutrients in food supplements in the EU with new EC health commissioner, Tonio Borg, Westminster has been told.
Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said Hunt and Borg met on January 17 where Hunt emphasised that MPLs should be, “based on science and safety, to allow for the highest safe maximum levels.”
Responding in parliament Soubry said: “I wrote to the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy on 10 January 2013 raising the issue of setting maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements, as one of concern among United Kingdom citizens.”
“The Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), met with the Commissioner on 17 January 2013, emphasising the importance that any future proposals should be based on science and safety, to allow for the highest safe maximum levels. The nature of the UK market and potential impact on availability of thousands of products was underlined.”
Consumers for Health Choice (CHC) director of strategy Chris Whitehouse said signals coming from other member states to increase the pressure for EU harmonisation on MPLs meant the UK had to act now.
“It is now clear that our warnings are valid. Other EU Members States are pushing, and pushing hard for the setting of maximum permitted levels and only the campaigns of CHC are keeping them off the agenda.”
“We must maintain our vigilance and keep every possible pressure on UK Government and the European Commission. The very timely intervention of Kate Hoey MP, Marcus Jones MP and John Pugh MP has clearly averted an immediate crisis but the threat remains real. We will redouble our campaigning efforts.”