Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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January 30, 2004

Supplements case to go to European Court

LONDON 30 January 2004 - The London High Court ruled today that the case against the European food supplements directive may be referred to the European Court of Justice. Mr Justice Richards ruled that there is "an arguable case" and that reference [of the the matter] to the EU Court of Justice "is plainly appropriate and should be made as soon as possible".

"This is an important breakthrough in our battle to secure diversity in medicine and broad availability of natural health options for people across Europe", says Ivan Ingrilli, chairman of La Leva di Archimede, a group that has been active for years and has challenged the directive both with the European Parliament and the Commission in the early stages of discussion.

There is a BBC News report on the court's decision.

And here a statement of the Alliance for Natural Health, one of the groups that have won the day in court and a report from John Hammell of International Advocates for Health Freedom.


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.”

JOHN HAMMELL of International Advocates for Health Freedom, USA, WAS THERE and here is what he's sent out to his list.

Today in London I witnessed a historic victory over the Pharma Cartel, and would like to thank those of you who so generously donated to ANH's legal campaign.

We can now apply for interim relief to stop the directive, pending the hearing we will now be getting in the European Court of Justice at a later, as yet undetermined date.

ANH's attorney Conor Quigley QC delivered a flawless argument to which we could see the Judge nodding his assent, which gave us all a real feeling of hope going into the lunch break. The real hub of the case was the recognition that the directive produced by the European Commission went much further than it needed to to achieve what it set out to do, which was harmonize products across Europe.

(In other words, the ban of around 5000 products containing vitamins and minerals in the UK alone, could well be illegal- not to mention the blockade on products being exported from the United States.) What ANH now will be doing is proving in the EU Court of Justice that the Directive is invalid because its illegally brought in the bans on the back of a harmonizing directive.

The result if ANH wins at the next stage will be that any country in the EU can continue using products that go beyond the restrictions imposed by the positive list. So places like the UK, Holland, Sweden and Ireland can remain safe havens for innovative products.

The fascinating thing is that people in Denmark, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, all of which have highly restrictive regimes, are now getting behind ANH because they value access to innovative products and nutritional therapies.

We may have had a victory today, but this is the beginning of a long road, and its going to be won by consumers around the world taking control of these issues by getting behind such organizations as IAHF, ANH, Mayday, La Leva di Archimede, National Health Federation, and others which are untainted by Pharma Influence.

We still have some way to go to pay legal bills to date, so please continue to give whatever you can to pay the best legal team in Europe which was there for you today and are still owed fees. Donations can be made via

I'll be in the UK for another few days, and will provide additional information shortly, including photos which I'll be uploading to the IAHF website.

John Hammell, reporting live from the UK

See also press reports:

Crackdown on vitamins challenged - The Independent

Court victory for vitamin firms - BBC News

Vitamins battle to go to Europe Telegraph

UK industry to take on Commission in European court

The Observer: For thousands of Britons battling the debilitating effects of cancer, depression, even eczema, diet is crucial. They view the vitamins and minerals they take as vital in their fight against sickness. So why does the EU want to cut off their supply?


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Friday January 30 2004
updated on Sunday December 5 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

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

Denmark To Eliminate Concept Of Supplements: 'They're All Medicines'
August 2004 - Danish Health Authorities have issued a proposed national "Guidance on Supplements" for public discussion which, according to MayDay, an association campaigning for freedom of choice in health matters, "is worse than any legislation we have ever seen before, as it will erase the concept of supplements, this actually means that Denmark is about to be the most totalitarian state experiment in Europe concerning health." The Danes refer to... [read more]
September 07, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Food Supplements: German Risk Institute Takes Dim View
The German Federal Institute for Risk Evaluation, formerly the Federal Office for Consumer Health Protection, has established a risk assessment model for deducing maximum safe levels of nutrients provided in supplements and fortified foods, according to a recent report of The report was published in two parts, one dealing with minerals, the other with vitamins, both available in PDF format - so far only in German language (Minerals here)... [read more]
January 20, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

Food Supplements: European Court To Hear Anti-Prohibition Case In January
The European Court of Justice has set 25 January 2005 as the date for hearing a case challenging the new European Directive on Food Supplements. The EU supplement law's prohibition clause will go into effect in July 2005, taking off the market many supplements consumers are now buying, unless the directive is overturned or substantially modified. The case was referred to the EU court by judge Richards of the London... [read more]
December 09, 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

Conventional medicine far riskier than supplements
Barbara Sumner Burstyn, in an article in the New Zealand Herald comments on the recent Australian attack on natural products which of course was felt also by New Zealand's health food aficionados. "...a blanket recall caused people to doubt not only the effectiveness of vitamins and supplements but their safety. We may have been looking in the wrong direction. While the Pan medication put 19 Australians in hospital, and others... [read more]
June 16, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments

It's a shame that the Courts in the UK are not empowered to protect the rights of British Health food Consumers. They should not have to go all thje way to the European Union Court of Justce for relief from this restriction on basic health rights. The lesson of the importance of National Sovereignty is important for all people to see the future writing on the wall. Only well financed -read corporate interests can pursue the necessary legal appeals.

Posted by: Arnold Gore on January 30, 2004 09:37 PM


If it is still legal and a human right to purchase tobacco/cigarettes as and when wanted - which is dangerous to health and has been proven so, why cannot we have the same legality and human right to purchase health supplements which WE are paying for. The NHS has to pay for hospital beds taken up by smokers' health problems. THIS MUST BE A LEGAL FLAW RE. HUMAN RIGHTS

Posted by: Anne E Webb on March 25, 2004 04:11 PM


Can you tell me
1) what if any impact the EU directive would have on U.S. consumers of supplements, and

2) what if any relationship there is between the EU Directive and the Codex Alimentarius?

Thank you!

Caroline Rider
Red Hook, NY USA

Posted by: caroline rider on May 14, 2004 07:07 AM


The EU directive on food supplements will have no direct effect on US consumers of supplements, but there may be an indirect one.

The indirect effect goes like this:

1) EU Supplements Directive establishes restrictions for formulation and dosage of supplements. That is already done and is passing into national law.

2) The EU is a very strong force in Codex deliberations as we have 15, and now 25, countries voting in the same way, potentially overwhelming few countries which may be opposed. The vote in Codex must reflect European law, that is, the supplements directive will with all probability become a blueprint for Codex guidelines.

3) Codex giudelines are applicable world wide, and are normally enforced by trade sanctions. It is conceivable that the US may be forced to change its laws (there are several precedents) to conform to the international standard, as issued by Codex and enforces through the WTO.

There are others much more knowledgeable than myself of the details. If you need more specifics, I may be able to give you some pointers to other people you can ask.

Posted by: Sepp on May 14, 2004 05:29 PM


Since having had two pituititary adenoma brain tumors (and two surgeries in 1996 and 1998) caused by my high comsumption of the artificial sweetner known as aspartame (aka Nutri-Sweet, Equal, and Phenylalanine), I have heavily researched alternative therapies, and have found that there are powerful natural healing qualities in natural foods,fruit drinks, and in vitamins & supplements containing the extracted healing and illness & disease prevention qualities. It is a crime to prevent people anywhere in the world from having unlimited access to these natural vitamins & supplements, that in many cases provide the same or better results, without the many dangerous side effects found in prescription drugs.

My personal story is published on (site no longer active).

Ed Johnson, J.D. Attorney at Law, San Antonio, Texas.
Tel: 210-877-0855.

Posted by: Ed Johnson, J.D.Attorney at Law,San Antonio, Texas on June 14, 2004 04:21 AM


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The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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