Consumers around Europe have a new chance to "Save Our Supplements" thanks to a new political initiative in the European Parliament launched by CHC, the leading pan-EU consumer pressure group.
Although we all hope that the current Legal Challenge put forward by ANH, HFMA and NAHS will succeed, we must accept that it may not. If we wait for the outcome, we will have lost valuable time. That is why CHC continues to try other options to keep supplements available.
The Food Supplements Directive (FSD) has already been passed and threatens to ban from July this year over 250 nutrients and nutrient sources that are key to the effectiveness of specialist vitamin and mineral supplements. It also proposes to ban in subsequent years all supplements above certain potencies that have yet be to specified. The ban is expected to wipe out all higher potency products other than a few available on prescription by medical practitioners.
But now there is hope that this can be averted!
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), led by John Bowis MEP, have put down a new amendment to legislation being considered by the Environment Committee of the European Parliament. The amendment is technically being proposed to a new Regulation on nutrition and health claims made on food. The amendment would allow Member States to permit onto their own domestic markets products that are food supplements even if they would be banned by the separate Food Supplements Directive, so long as they are safe and only approved claims are made about their effects.
This is an exciting but limited new opportunity for supplement users around Europe, but will only come to fruition if consumers support CHC and act now to ensure that MEP's on the key Environment Committee vote in support of the amendment on 20th April.
While continuing to lobby extensively within British political circles, CHC is issuing a "Call to Arms" to consumers throughout the European Union to contact the MEPs from their country who sit on the Environment Committee.
You can find out which MEPs are on that Committee by going to: http://wwwdb.europarl.eu.int/ep6/owa/p_meps.short_list
then use the drop down menu on the "committees" field to go to the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. That will generate a list of all the MEPs on the Committee from which you can find the contact details of those from your own country.
Please only contact MEPs from your own Member State, and do make the effort to make the approach as personal as you can. Please remember that much of this good work could be undone if you are aggressive in tone (even though we understand your frustrations).
What would work best is a short and polite note making the following points
- Explain to MEPs from your country why you choose to take supplements and wish to continue to do so.
- Explain that John Bowis MEP has taken a measured and responsible step in tabling an amendment to the health and nutrition claims regulation to allow Member States to permit onto their own domestic market supplements that they consider safe - even if they lie outside the scope of the Food
- Stress that this would be a "proportionate" response and would not force any Member State to allow products onto its market if it did not wish to do so.
Find out more from www.healthchoice.org.uk This site will be further updated shortly.
With our thanks and kind regards.
Consumers for Health Choice ~ Save Our Supplements Campaign
11 Green Pastures Road
Telephone: +44 (0) 1275 852597
Facsimile: +44 (0) 1275 858702
Mobile: 07860 286425
Web site: http://www.healthchoice.org.uk