Vitamin and Mineral Supplements directive

Do you take any food supplements? Vitamin C maybe? Zinc if you feel a little bunged up and coldy? I try and take regular Vitamin B as I think I am quite deficient, plus some Ginkgo Biloba to help my memory, but yes – I do forget to take them!

Supplementation and trying to prevention sickness and disease with natural products surely cannot be a bad thing? I get very wound up by some of the debates on this subject which is why I want to draw your attention to what is happening in Europe with the Vitamin and Mineral Supplements directive.

The EU is wanting to introduce this directive which will mean that many forms of vitamins and minerals will be removed from stores (5 forms of calcium, 12 forms of magnesium, 12 forms of selenium, 20 forms of zinc and 10 forms of boron, for example). It also means that, in due course, higher dose supplements may also be banned. It’s not that they are deemed especially dangerous, (unlike paracetamol which can kill you or cigarettes which just carry a warning) – its just that some of them do not have adequate testing according to the “powers that be” to render them safe.

On12 July the European Court of Justice will decide whether this legislation is just or not and can proceed. At a first hearing the Advocate General said that, in his opinion the Directive is invalid as it infringes the principle of proportionality.

Surely any form of a vitamin or mineral should be freely sold, unless it is harmful. The proposed legislation says that no form of vitamin or mineral can be sold unless proven, by means of a very extensive and expensive dossier of information used for new drugs, that it is safe. This is surely disproportionate to the actual risk and really is making a mountain out of a molehill, probably aggravated by the pharmaceutical industry.

Apparently Tony Blair that had made comments that he too may think the Supplements Directive is wholly out of proportion to the risks.

This is a new developement and may help our plea through European Court, but the battle is not won yet.

We must get MPs and MEPs actively putting on pressure NOW to make sure this legislation, in its current form, doesn’t go ahead. Every letter they receive makes a difference. So, please WRITE NOW to your MP and MEP explaining:
1. Why you take vitamin and mineral supplements.
2. That despite promises from Government Ministers, more than 200 ingredients and thousands of products will become illegal in July this year as the result of the list of permitted ingredients coming into force.
3. That thousands more products will be lost in the future as maximum permitted levels are set most have which have no or little negative evidence.
4. That Government Ministers have adopted a “wait and see” policy that is unacceptable and are doing nothing to force the European Commission to sort out the problem.
5. That only a national derogation (right to opt out of the legislation) can save our supplements; 6. Asking them to write to the Government Minister and the European Commission demanding that the legislation be changed to ensure that the UK does not lose safe and popular products.

Please write to your MP at this address:(name) MPHouse of CommonsLondon SW1A 0AA
You can find the name of your MP by calling 020 7219 4272 or visiting www.locata.co.uk/commons Please write to your MEP at this address:
(name) MEP
The European Parliament
Rue Wiertz
1047 Brussels
Belgium

You can find the name of your MEP by calling 020 7227 4300 or visiting www.europarl.org.uk/uk_meps/Please do this today as we must maximise pressure now to protect our right to choose safe supplements.

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