by: Bert Schwitters
12 October 2005
From the frying pan into the fire of the 'Precautionary Principle and Risk Assessment
In this article, Bert Schwitters, Dutch author and businessman, describes in intimate detail how the EU plans to remove some of the most effective natural products from the market, through the misuse of the Precautionary Principle. He uses his insight to the complex range of scientific and legal issues that have developed following his 25-year sojourn with the European food supplements industry. During the 1980s, Bert helped to lay the foundations for the Dutch Association of Natural Products Manufacturers (NPN). His company, International Nutrition Company (INC), sponsors the HAN Research project, which is reviewing independently the entire framework of EU and international food supplements regulation. INC, dedicated this scientific research project to the Alliance for Natural Health. Bert wrote this article for the Alliance on personal title.
On July 12, 2005, when millions of Europeans happily began their holidays travelling through their frontier-less Europe or “Schengenland”, the European Court of Justice gave its blessing to a European Directive that would, had it applied to travelling, have confined millions of law-abiding, legitimate citizens of some of the Member States to their home country. The Directive, which concerns food supplements, the products you know as nutrients in capsules or tablets, professes to seek a “Schengen” type removal of the archaic national frontiers that have always impeded the free movement of food supplements in Europe, especially from Member States that permitted liberal amounts of essential nutrients in such products, to European states that applied more restrictive regimes. Now that the holidays are over and we have all returned to our day-to-day reality, let’s see what that reality will bring Europeans in terms of vitamins and mineral supplements.