Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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December 09, 2004

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 High Court on 30 January this year. Mr. Justice Richards heard two cases in January. Both argued that the British law putting the food supplements directive into effect was going to hurt both producers and consumers. Since national courts cannot change what has been decided in Brussels, judge Richards asked the European Court for help in making a decision.

The directive has been hotly contested by consumers, both before and during its passage through the EU legislative channels and afterwards, but the EU's bureaucracy maintains that new rules are necessary to protect consumer health and that "no products will be removed from the market". One would think that one or both of these assertions must be untrue, since if consumers were in need of protection, there should logically also be products that need removal from the market. Conversely, if no products are scheduled for removal, why make a law "to protect consumers"?

. . .

Suffocated by Administrative Red Tape

The assurances of the EU Commission that no products will be removed from the market are contrary to widespread expectations - the directive's dispositions will sharply limit types of ingredients which may be used as vitamin and mineral sources, as well as mandating strict dosage limits. The Commission says producers can file dossiers with the European Food Safety Authority to add substances to the "allowed" list.. The hitch: data requirements are similar to those of a pharmaceutical medicines registration, with the exception only of clinical trials proving the supplement to be curative. Since supplements can not make claims of cure, waiving that requirement is really not a big concession.

Some of the supplement producers say that such dossiers put a heavy burden on them, costing substantial amounts of money for products that cannot be patent protected like pharmaceutical medicines. They add that the dossiers are unnecessary as the safety of supplements is quite obvious from years of daily use by millions of consumers.

The UK Food Standards Agency's Dr. Clair Baynton after attending a meeting with officials from the European Food Safety Authority and the European Commission said last week in a written note to interested parties and associations, that dossiers will have to be submitted and that the the Commission "did not favour changes to the time scales in the directive".

With the new regime mandated by the directive, food supplements are in effect being subjected to an expensive, highly duplicative, quasi-medical regime of prior ingredient approval, regardless of their historically proven safety. Never mind that what they contain are vital nutrients and never mind that without a sufficient supply of those nutrients, our bodies will get sick and die. Ironically, while supplements save lives, they are now to follow laws designed for medicines, while hundreds of thousands of deaths every year are due to consumption of just such officially approved medicines, rather than the "unregulated" supplements.

Dr. Robert Verkerk, director of the Alliance for Natural Health, one of the groups involved in the legal action, says he is "delighted that an early hearing date has now been set and hopeful that the European Court in Luxembourg will invalidate the quite unnecessary ban on the wide range of perfectly safe natural, food-derived ingredients which comprise most of the advanced food supplements."

The early date set for the hearing will assure that a decision by the EU court does not come "after the fact", meaning after consumers have been left with little choice of how to stay healthy using supplements. There seems to be reason for optimism, considering that in April this year, the same court condemned Germany for having illegally limited dosages of supplements to three times the RDA across the board. Such limits are legal only if evaluated case by case and if there are reasons to believe that a product may cause adverse effects, according to the court.

Dossier requirements and administrative red tape for supplements - ironically promoted as necessary for "consumer protection" by medical authorities and makers of medicines which themselves have been proven to be highly dangerous - are set to suffocate supplements as a health choice unless the EU judges make a wise decision this coming month of January.

See also:

Why organized medicine wants to outlaw nutrition and turn healers into criminals
How about some truth for a change about the Food Supplements Directive in the European Union? The proponents of this directive say that it's about protecting patients from all these dangerous vitamins, minerals, supplements, plant extracts and antioxidants that are so dangerous for people. They say, "We're going to keep you safe!"


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Thursday December 9 2004
updated on Thursday December 16 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

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

ANH Legal Challenge to EU Directive in London High Court
The ANH - Alliance for Natural Health - has initiated a court challenge against the UK's implementation of the European Directive on Food Supplements, which is coming up for its first hearing on 30 January. The ANH charges that many natural health products today available are likely to vanish from the market as a result of this and other European legislative efforts which favour pharmaceutical medicines over the natural "competition".... [read more]
January 24, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

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... [read more]
January 30, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

New EU 'Medicine' Definition: Difficult Times for Natural Cures and Prevention
The European Union has published, as part of a directive amending its laws relating to medicinal products, a new definition for what is to be considered a medicine. While the stated aim is to include new types of medicine, such as gene therapy and radiopharmaceutical products, the emergence of what is called "borderline products" appears a major concern, confirming an earlier post on this site. Directive 2004/27/EC of 31 March... [read more]
May 05, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

EU Health Products Directives To Have 'Serious International Impact'
The contentious issue of European health legislation has not been properly considered by the EU Commission before acting to support a series of directives - which will be applicable law in all member states - on preventive and curative foods and supplements as well as pharmaceutical medicines. During a conference at the international exhibition SANA in Bologna, Italy, Dr. Robert Verkerk of the Alliance for Natural Health told a select... [read more]
September 13, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments

Attending the court hearing in Luxembourg - 25 January 2005.
A message of Louise McLean of

As you know, the Alliance for Natural Health is taking their landmark case to overturn the ban in the EU Food Supplements Directive, to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, on 25th January 2005.

I have just spoken to Dr. Robert Verkerk, Executive Director of ANH, who says that we are allowed to seat 80 supporters in the Court on that day. Dr. Verkerk has indicated that it would be very helpful to have a strong turnout of supporters at the court case for this historic event. I will be attending, along with leaders of health freedom organisations worldwide, as well as journalists but we need more people!

There are many ways to travel to Luxembourg. From Britain there are coaches and Eurostar rail to Brussels, then a train on to Luxembourg. British Airways has reasonable flights.  From London there are flights from Gatwick and City of London airports. I booked through Tropical Options which is excellent for cheaper deals and they book the hotel accommodation as well. Telephone Jeremy at Tropical Options on 0161 9351180 who told me he could organise travel + accommodation for others going to Luxembourg. You can also book travel and hotel on or which list a selection of hotels in Luxembourg including the cheaper ones such as Mercure Luxembourg Centre MM, Novotel, etc. (type in 'hotels only+Luxembourg'). The Nobilis and the Grand Mercure Alfa which are more expensive, are both right by the main railway station. Make bookings quickly now as hotels are filling up.

As soon as you have booked your journey, please REGISTER YOUR NAME on the Alliance of Natural Health website, so they know you are coming. - you will see where to register quickly.

Those people in Canada, the US and Australia need to know that the EU Food Supplements Directive is the blueprint for the harmonisation of laws worldwide through Codex Alimentarius, so it is of the utmost importance that this legislation is overturned. Do try and come and give your support because these restrictive laws will be coming to your countries next. 

We have 12 days left, so please do so as a matter of urgency.

With very best regards,

Louise Mclean, LCCH MARH
Zeus Information Service

Posted by: Sepp on January 13, 2005 05:43 PM


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