Alliance for Natural Health obtains reference to European court on food supplements ban
ALLIANCE FOR NATURAL HEALTH OBTAINS REFERENCE TO EUROPEAN COURT ON FOOD SUPPLEMENTS BAN
An English High Court judge ruled yesterday that the legislative powers of the European Commission should be examined by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Separate landmark cases brought by the Alliance for Natural Health and two UK industry associations were successful both in getting permission for Judicial Review and obtaining a reference to the European Court of Justice in their challenge to the legality of the Food Supplements Directive ban on nutrients.
Mr Justice Richards gave decisive judgment yesterday afternoon after having examined the voluminous evidence filed and considered detailed legal arguments. He emphasised that the reference to the European Court should be made without delay given that the ban proposed by Brussels legislators takes effect from 1 August 2005.
Up to 5000 vitamin and mineral products in the UK alone will be lost, negatively impacting manufacturers, retailers, practitioners and consumers reliant on these products across Europe.
Industry and complementary health organisations around Europe are hopeful that the European Court of Justice will give its ruling prior to the imposition of the ban next year.
David Hinde, Solicitor and Legal Director of the Alliance for Natural Health says:
“This is a test case on the proper scope of the legislative powers of the Community Legislator over member states and has far reaching implications for health as well as freedom of choice.
Other countries like the UK with advanced markets for supplements such as Sweden, Ireland and the Netherlands all stand to benefit if ANH's arguments are accepted by the European Court.”
Dr Robert Verkerk, Executive Director of the Alliance for Natural Health says: “This court decision is a victory for millions of consumers of advanced food supplements, many of whom have found good health using nutrition as a central approach. We are hopeful that the Court in Luxembourg will invalidate the unnecessary ban on the wide range of perfectly safe natural, food-derived ingredients which comprise most of the advanced food supplements. The proposed ban is wholly unnecessary and works counter to health policy where nutrition is increasingly seen as a key way forward.”