Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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August 31, 2003

EU vitamin directive disastrous unless challenged says US lawyer

29 August 2003 - While the US has been the bastion of freedom to choose - at least since 1994 when consumers united to help pass a law called the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA), the European Union has passed a directive - applicable in all the member states - which will severely restrict both the ingredients that may be used in supplements and the dosages of vitamins that people can buy in health food stores.

The ANH - Alliance for Natural Health - a health freedom-of-choice group situated in the UK with links to similar associations and individuals around Europe, is ready to challenge the EU monster in court. They do need your help with finance and lobby actions and you can find out on their site what needs to be done.

Ralph Fucetola, the US "vitamin lawyer", who was involved in the passage of the US law and in court cases that seek to force the FDA to allow more information about nutrients to be given to the public, said recently that he considers the EU legal challenge of the Supplements Directive of great importance. Read what he has to say.

US attorneys urge support for ANH challenge

The following statement was released today by US attorney Ralph Fucetola, the 'vitamin lawyer'.

The Vitamin Lawyer Reports Pending Litigation on the World Stage

During July, I met with several attorneys, publicists and health freedom advocates in New York City to discuss the current state of health care freedom in the United States and other western countries. Together, these individuals have had decades of experience representing major figures in the field and supporting innovative changes to current restrictions.

We discussed Pearson v Thompson, Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw's pending litigation regarding commercial speech issues that lead attorney Jonathan Emord will be arguing in November before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. This is the same court that issued the leading decision in Pearson v Shalala, in 2000, securing greater access to truthful information about nutrients.

Several of us will be submitting Friends of the Court briefs on behalf of health freedom groups. We expect this case to further extend the Free Speech status of statements regarding nutrients, in keeping with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case (from 2001) Thompson v Western States Medical Centers, wherein Justice OConnor, speaking for the pro-Speech majority wrote, "If the First Amendment means anything, it means that regulating speech must be a last - not first - resort."

The participants also discussed the Alliance for Natural Health and the lawsuit they seek to bring, regarding the restrictive European Union Food Supplements Directive. We concluded that this case was even more important in the long run. As American health care law is "harmonized" with Canadian, Australian, etc. law, the FSD will be the model that international bureaucrats will seek to implement. WTO rules appear to make this almost inevitable, despite some weak statutory verbiage in the 1997 FDA modernization act telling the agency that it may not "harmonize" American health freedoms to restrictive rules elsewhere. I don't know enough about the merits of the litigation to know its chances, but do know the reputation of the attorneys involved and must defer to their expertise; they are quite convinced of its viability.

Those present therefore concluded that people around the world, and especially American vitamin and complementary health care companies (where about 2/3 of the world expenditures on nutrients and alternatives occur) need to politically and financially support the ANH litigation. This is more important than opposing or supporting pending legislation in the US (which don't have much chance of passing now anyway), and of the same high priority as supporting the Pearson case. Americans must raise, as an important political issue, that the EU and other western countries need to harmonize their out-of-date restrictive policies with the expanding rights to truthful health freedom information, nutrients and complementary therapies that have benefited Americans since the adopting of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) and subsequent pro-Speech court decisions. The ANH can be reached through .

Ralph Fucetola JD

Date: 29-Aug-03

See also:

The Growing Threats to DSHEA
A well documented article by Paul Taylor, discussing DSHEA, the US law on food supplements passed in 1994, and how this law may be influenced by the Codex Alimentarius guidelines on supplements...


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Sunday August 31 2003
updated on Tuesday July 29 2008

URL of this article:


Related Articles

How UK Labour fixed vote on supplements
On 3 July, the United Kingdom approved, by Committee vote in the House of Commons, the transformation of a highly controversial European directive into English law. The measure risks removing a large number of popular and effective products from health food store shelves, despite protestations to the contrary by the EU Commission. Flashback: Consumer and Health Commissioner David Byrne said on 13 March 2002: "I am very pleased with the... [read more]
July 22, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

S 722 to overturn US vitamin freedom
The Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act - DSHEA, passed in 1993 and signed into law in 1994 by Clinton, was hailed as a milestone in securing freedom of choice with regard to supplements containing nutrients, herbs and other non-drug substances. Ever since its passage, the FDA has been chewing on its bit, impatient to get their teeth into supplements once again. It appears that they now may have that... [read more]
July 23, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Courts to decide fate of EU supplements directive
The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) is set to challenge the validity of the European directive on food supplements by taking the EU executive to court over senseless restrictions to consumer availability of natural supplements with a nutritional value. A top law firm has been retained by ANH to see the legal challenge through the EU courts and the word is, that it might well work. The EU has decided... [read more]
August 08, 2003 - Robin Good

European Supplements Directive challenged in London Court
The European Union's Directive on Food Supplements, which became EU law last year and is now being transposed into the legal systems of EU member states, has been challenged in a UK court on Monday 13 October by the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) a pan-European coalition of supplement manufacturers, retailers, independent health practitioners and consumers. The case, filed in the London High Court by Brick Court Chambers and the... [read more]
October 16, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Food Supplements in Europe - What is the Problem?
The European Union has issued a Directive to regulate the commerce of food supplements, which is in the process of being implemented in the member states. If reading the referenced text does not tell you what problems this directive might bring to your ability to either buy or sell supplements in one of the European Community member states, don't feel alone. That is a problem most observers have and I... [read more]
April 21, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Supplements: EU Court Hears Case As UK Commons Debate Directive
Luxembourg - The European Court of Justice heard oral arguments yesterday in a case brought by the Alliance for Natural Health, the British Health Food Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Health Food Stores, to overturn the prohibitive provisions of the European food supplements directive. The directive, passed in 2002 for the purpose of harmonizing European laws on health products, is set to require expensive research to prove the... [read more]
January 26, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger




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