Hands off our vitamins and minerals, says thespian

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food supplements Vitamin

A website designed to educate consumers about the “threat to vitamins and minerals from the Foods Supplements Directive” has been launched in the UK by the British actress Jenny Seagrove.

Seagrove, a long-time supplements campaigner, is also funding the site which aims to build on the public awareness generated by the Save Our Supplements (SOS) campaign instigated by the lobby group, Consumers for Health Choice (CHC), in August, 2001.

The new website – www.handsoffourvitamins.com​ – is seeking to bring supplements users into the fold that may have so far been excluded from the debate over the Food Supplements Directive (FSD) or unaware of it.

Choice for consumers

Like CHC and trade groups such as the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA), Handsoffourvitamins seeks to develop resistance to a piece of legislation it sees as limiting both choice in supplements and the levels of nutrients they contain.

The FSD contains a positive list of permitted nutrients that can be used in food supplements across the European Union’s 27 member states. Handsoffourvitamins says there are 250 nutrients and nutrient sources available on the British market that will be banned when the legislation’s transition period expires nest year.

In addition, it says maximum permitted levels, which are also slated to be finalised next year, may be set at unacceptably low levels for many of the estimated 21m Brits who use food supplements.

Current vitamin C levels that permitted 1000mg in one pill could be slashed to 200mg or less, the website stated as an example.

In such a climate many consumers could be driven to unregulated mail-order markets.

Great addition

“This is a great addition to the campaign,”​ CHC director Sue Croft told Natural Products News​ magazine.

“Jenny liked the slogan ‘hands off our vitamins’ which we used earlier this year as part of the SOS campaign. The new site is deliberately intended to appeal to a younger audience and give consumers the basic information in short, attention-grabbing messages. But there are also click-throughs to the CHC site where people can access more serious and in-depth information.”

The site calls for US consumers (“great supplements users”​) to lobby their government to for change in Brussels.

It also warns that EU regulations threatened being implemented worldwide as they were being used as “blueprints”​ for Codex guidelines; Codex being a global food standards and guidelines body established by the Food and Agriculture (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).

“We must not stand by while bureaucrats in Whitehall and Brussels actively undermine our ability to access safe food supplements and herbal remedies,”​ the site states.

“Everyone should write to their MP expressing their concerns, explaining that they take supplements and want to continue to do so. Even at this late stage, MPs could pile on the pressure and force the Minister to take appropriate action to protect consumers from these totally inappropriate regulations.”

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