The Alliance for Natural Health, on behalf of the leading-edge of the natural healthcare industry, files lawsuit against the EU Food Supplements Directive ban.
ALLIANCE FOR NATURAL HEALTH MOUNTS LEGAL CHALLENGE
TO THE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS DIRECTIVE BAN ON THE SALE AND MANUFACTURE OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS
WHO IS THE ALLIANCE FOR NATURAL HEALTH?
The ANH is a pan-European and International organisation of supplement manufacturers, retailers, practitioners and consumers very concerned about the negative effects of the European Food Supplements Directive, which come into effect in this country on 1 August 2005.
WHAT WILL BE THE EFFECT OF THE DIRECTIVE?
The Directive will ban about 300 of the 420 or so forms of vitamins and minerals present in around 5000 products on the UK market, many of which are sold in high street health food stores. The ban will have a similar effect on products in such countries as Sweden, the Netherlands and Ireland which have advanced markets for food supplements.
WHY WILL THE BAN HAVE CATASTROPHIC EFFECTS ON THE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS INDUSTRY?
There is a growing deterioration in the UK diet bought about by the economic pressure of big business and the advertising of fast food. The decreasing nutritional quality of the average diet along with the increasing exposure to toxins make the role of nutrition, including use of supplements, of paramount importance in healthcare in order to address the growing incidence of degenerative diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis to mention but a few. The ban will have the effect of making it much more difficult for anyone concerned about their health and diet to supplement it with a range of products which have been consumed and sold for years without any health risk.
The second impact of the ban is that many small companies who research into, produce and market these safe and effective food supplements will be unable to sell them without investing huge sums of money in proving their safety – despite the fact that we have been consuming many of the food-forms of nutrients to be banned in many cases for hundreds of years with no known health risk.
THE ANH CHALLENGE
The ANH has begun the legal process for a declaration that the Directive is invalid under European law. Aided by lawyers from Brick Court Chambers and The Simkins Partnership in London, the ANH has set out to prove that this potentially catastrophic ban is not only unnecessary, but unlawful.
Dr Rob Verkerk PhD, Executive Director of the ANH says: “This is a groundbreaking challenge to another intrusive and unwanted EU Directive ban which we aim to demonstrate has been passed unlawfully from the EU into UK law. We believe that it will rob the consumer of the right to buy important nutritional supplements to improve their diet and health and that of their children, as well as putting hundreds of small businesses and the livelihoods of thousands at risk. There is absolutely no justification for this ban and we aim to get it removed.”
SMALL BUSINESSES SUFFER MOST FROM THE DIRECTIVE
Mike Ash, Managing Director of Nutri-Link Limited, a West Country based manufacturer and supplier of supplements to practitioners and health stores, is a co-claimant with the ANH. He represents many of the small businesses, which will be hit by the ban, and says:
“The Directive bans many of our most popular products and forces us and many other manufacturers needlessly to reformulate other key products. The cost to us to reformulate tried and tested products to comply with the directive is enormous. To develop a single product can take months of careful assessment and analysis. If we have to spend our time until August 2005 reformulating existing products to comply with the directive we cannot develop new products. In many instance, reformulation will not be possible at all as the most important ingredients of the product will be banned by the directive. The ban is a catastrophe for our business and customers.”
WHAT WILL BE BANNED BY THE DIRECTIVE?
Among the 300 ingredients to be banned by the Directive will be natural forms of Vitamin E, found in food such as wheatgerm oil, and organic bound minerals like selenomethionine and selenocysteine, found in foods like brazil nuts. In addition, the directive aims to ban nearly all important trace elements used in supplements, including boron and vanadium.
Demand for products nutrients sourced from natural ingredients is increasing rapidly among consumers simply because such products work very effectively. An increasing number of scientific reports are supporting their use in place of older-style synthetic nutrients that have been the mainstay of the supplement industry for several decades.
Synthetic vitamins and inorganic minerals, typical ingredients in multivitamin and mineral products found in supermarkets and pharmacies will not be affected by the ban.
In summary, advanced natural and well absorbed vitamin and mineral nutrients will be banned and what will be allowed will be the old-fashioned, mainly synthetic and inorganic forms, which tend to be much less effective.
The Foods Supplements Directive ban on advanced nutrients thus destroys innovation and deprives consumers of the best food supplements now available.
Robert Verkerk BSc, MSc, DIC, PhD Executive Director Tel. (general): 01252 371 275 Tel. (direct): 0771 484 7225 e-mail:[email protected]
David Hinde LLb Solicitor Legal Director Tel. (direct):0207738 1640 Mobile:07958 548 186 E-mail:[email protected]
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