Jersey and Guernsey to adopt EU food supplements laws

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, United kingdom

Jersey and Guernsey to adopt EU food supplements laws
The European islands of Guernsey and Jersey are working together to bring them into compliance with European Union laws on claims, labelling and formulation.

The fact the islands have to-date remained outside strict EU laws has made them attractive bases for internet traders and others selling products with formulations, dosages and claims that may not be permissible inside the bloc.

The micro-industry is estimated to be worth about €125m but could change if the strict EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) is implemented.

The UK Department of Health has for several years warned against Guernsey companies marketing supplement products to British consumers with unverified claims via mail-order catalogues and online.

Guernsey and Jersey-based companies like the biggest player, Healthspan, regularly run foul of the UK advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for making unsubstantiated claims for products like omega-3s and botanicals and cognitive performance.

On Guernsey, the local supplements industry has been resisting moves instigated last year by the island’s health minister, Hunter Adam, to bring it in line with the rest of the EU’s 27 member states.

Their position appears to have a certain level of support from the Guernsey citizenry with 2000 signing a petition against EU alliance; a significant number on an island with only 40,000 people of voting-age.

"...they would need to ensure they complied with the regulations."

But the government appears committed to its course and it said in a statement: "The drafting of this legislation remains a high priority; however, there are a number of technical matters that need to be addressed before the legislation can be brought before the island's parliament.”

"While some members of the community and certain sections of the industry opposed the law, there was not significant commercial resistance; rather, there was an expectation that the legislation would be introduced and recognition, certainly among the larger players, that if industry wanted to continue to sell their products in the UK and EU, they would need to ensure they complied with the regulations."

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