High-dose supplements fight taken to EC president

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food supplements directive European union

UK-based food supplements lobby group, Consumers for Health Choice (CHC), has launched a kit to help consumers, manufacturer, retailers and practitioners personally envoy their pro high-dose food supplement messages to European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso.

Via its website, www.consumersforhealthchoice.com​, the group outlines how people can contact Barroso, a man CHC characterises as being sensitive to the high-dose supplements issue.

“He is about the only consistent person in the Commission right now; everyone else seems to be changing places,”​ CHC states.

It has long fought for high-dose supplements which it fears will be stripped from shelves if the European Union puts in place restrictive maximum permitted limits for nutrients in food supplements under the Food Supplements Directive.

Fortified foods will also be affected but it is not clear when maximum permitted levels will be finalised.

Real difference

“Whichever Member State you are based in, you can make a real difference to the outcome of the process of setting maximum permitted dose levels for all vitamins and all minerals in dietary supplements,”​ CHC states.

It suggests letter writers include material such as:

  • Why you take vitamin and mineral supplements - yourself, your family
  • That the Food Supplements Directive is an opportunity to open up the market and allow greater freedom of choice to all supplement users across all member states
  • Nutrient doses should be set as high as possible in accordance with the levels that good science supports as safe
  • If unnecessarily low dose levels are set, consumer choice will be restricted, public health could be undermined, and your local health food store may close

The campaign is tailored to those in the UK, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Poland, and is aimed, says CHC, “at ensuring everyone makes their voices heard at this critical time as maximum permitted levels are being discussed, and with great urgency”.

“The official view of EU regulators remains that the destruction of the British industry is an acceptable price to pay for harmonizing the market across all member stares,”​ CHC director, Sue Croft, told UK magazine, Natural Products News​. “That is a big hurdle for us to overcome — but we are determined to find a way.”

“It is certainly true that our campaign earlier this year effectively delayed the Commission from pushing forward with unnecessarily restrictive levels, and it now seems the figures on dose levels will be delayed even further until after the (re-run) Referendum in Ireland in September. EU officials cannot afford to offend the Irish voters at this time."

"Our new Toolkits will enable supplements users across member states to easily send a firm message to the president — that is what we need right now.”

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