ANH ups the fight for food law fairness

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Natural health products European union

Pan-European law reform group, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), is taking part in an international emergency task force to fight the battle for more equitable food regulations.

These include health claims and permitted levels in food supplements in major markets such as Europe, the US and Canada.

“The conference and the establishment of the expert scientific and legal task force itself was particularly pertinent considering the recent decision by Canada and the United States to further negotiate harmonization with the European Union,”​ ANH said.

The group met last week in Toronto, Canada, with legal and scientific experts to develop global and regional strategies.

Also present were the Canadian Natural Health Product Protection Association, the Canadian Natural Health Coalition and the American Association for Health Freedom.

“On the heels of the recent attempts to severely restrict and further regulate natural supplements and remedies through legislative Bill C-51 in Canada, the increased concerns regarding the US Food and Drug Administration’s revisions of the cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices regulations) and ongoing concerns over the severely restrictive European regulatory regime on natural health products, a two-day conference concluded last Friday with the formation of an international scientific and legal task force,”​ the ANH stated.

“The mandate given to the task force was to intervene strategically to preserve the public’s right and access to natural health, including vitamin and mineral supplements, traditional herbal medicines and the healing arts.”

Topics discussed included:

· The flawed nature of scientific risk assessment methods and policy

· The overstatement of consumer risks from natural health products and traditional remedies

· The legislative threat to traditional medicinal cultures that are thousands of years old

· That proposed or established legislation contravenes constitutional and human rights in many parts of the world

· Regulators over-stepping their legal authority by developing overly restrictive regulations

The taskforce said it was “seeking meaningful and lasting reform…to prevent any further erosion of the freedom of informed choice in area of natural health”.

The ANH added: “There was consensus among the conference’s experts that some of the greatest challenges included regulators exceeding their legal authority, ignoring court rulings, overstating and skewing human health risks associated with the use of natural health products, discriminating against traditional medicinal cultures and censoring truthful health information.”

In a recent an open letter to Members of the European Parliament’s Committee for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, ANH​ executive and scientific director, Robert Verkerk, wrote that the threat to public safety of pharma and mobile phones had been understated while that of food supplements​ had been exaggerated.

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