Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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July 04, 2003

UK votes to adopt EU supplements directive

3 July 2003 - London
The Standing Committee on Health of the House of Commons, in a close vote, approved the proposed UK law that transforms the European Food Supplements directive into British law. 7 members of the 13-member committee accepted the government's proposed Statutory Instrument, which spells out the details of application of th new EU rules on supplements.

The vote comes after the House of Lords had rejected the same law in an overwhelming, but non-binding motion.

In an apparent attempt to head off intensive consumer lobbying and to ensure a politically correct outcome of the vote, the Standing Committee's members were shuffled on the morning of the vote with six new members being appointed just hours before the decision approving the government's proposal. There was no debate in the House of Commons.

Update about the vote count in Committee (8 July 2003):

Apparently the Government are now saying that the vote was actually AYES 8 NOES 6 (as opposed to AYES 7 NOES 6, which was what was read out at the end of the vote by the clerk). Apparently "the clerk read it out wrongly".

A rarer than rare occurrence apparently.....

Kind regards

Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2003 15:31:30 +0100
Subject: RE: Standing Committee

It was 8-6 - the clerk read it out wrong initially. The frustrating thing was that one of the Labour members was willing to vote the other way if it made the difference - but because if he did it would have been 7-7, the Government would have won on the Chairman's casting vote. Which means that if Dr Evan Harris, the Lib Dem health spokesman had bothered to turn up, the Government would have lost 8-7. Infuriating.

Sent: 04 July 2003 12:49
Subject: RE: Standing Committee

Can you confirm, the outcome of the vote. I believed it was a majority of 7 to 6 in favour of the directive. I believe you have said it was 8 to 6. Please clarify this when you have a moment. I will shortly be writing a press release on yesterday's meeting.

The "Early Day Motion" approved in the House of Lords:

EDM 1442
That this House notes that, under the provisions of the Food Supplements (England) Regulations, the use in food supplements of the key nutrients silicon, sulphur and boron, in addition to some 300 other sources of minerals and vitamins, will be banned with effect from July 2005; further notes the warnings from officials of the Food Standards Agency to industry representatives on Monday 9th June that the setting of maximum permitted levels of nutrients in food supplements thereafter by the European authorities is likely to lead to very low permissible levels reflecting outdated concepts of nutritional need rather than safety, which will in turn have a serious and adverse impact upon UK industry and consumer choice; calls on the Government to take urgent action to address these serious problems; and declines to approve the Food Supplements (England) Regulations.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Friday July 4 2003
updated on Tuesday December 21 2010

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Readers' Comments

I am unable to believe that our stalwart ally is ripping the rights of people to choose perfectly valuable and proven supplements from her shelves, thus cow-towing to the pharmaceutical monopoly which intends to gain the billions that sensible people are spending out of pocket on health products of their choice. I'm ashamed of you!
This is money, not health working!

Posted by: Pat Stephens on January 8, 2005 01:16 AM


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