unite to defend your access to food supplements!
In May 2000, the European Commission has proposed a directive to regulate production and commerce of food supplements. The draft is currently being discussed by the Council of Ministers of the EU and by the European Parliament.
If the proposal already had some inconsistencies and left some doubts, the most recent discussions definitely show that all is not well. We are going in the direction of a very restrictive document, which if passed would take off the market a large number of perfectly safe products.
The directive is supposed to deal only with vitamins and minerals at this stage, and any other ingredients are put "on the back burner" leaving regulations concerning fatty acids, aminoacids, non-vitamin nutrients, fibres, enzymes and all herbal ingredients to national authorities. Nevertheless, even under the limited scope of the proposal, there are very real dangers that many products may simply become illegal.
The proposal is vague on the point of maximum dosages allowed, and leaves the decision on "safety levels" in the hands of a scientific body, the European Union's Scientific Committee for Foods (SCF), which is not accountable to any government or parliament and which has not shown, in the past, a great tendency to take consumer choice into account in their decisions. On the contrary, some rather arbitrary determinations by the SCF have greatly limited the list of vitamin and mineral substances that may be employed in the so called "foods for particular nutritional purposes", a limited category of products addressed mainly to people with metabolic difficulties of assimilation or with intolerance to various substances.
Now the SCF, which has shown to be very restrictive indeed in their previous decisions, is to be called upon to decide what is "good for us" in terms of vitamins and minerals, and their relative dosages.
Mainstream nutritional science has always maintained a disdainful attitude to higher doses of vitamins as used in orthomolecular nutrition and the SCF is, if anything, the champion of mainstream nutritional science. This is like asking advice of the wolf on how to protect the poor sheep. Our rights to decide for ourselves on nutritional issues are in grave danger!
Recent developments in the discussions that are taking place in Brussels, where national ministry officials meet and hash out details of the planned future directive, add more cause for concern. The working group that met on october 17, 2000 in Brussels has dashed the last hopes that the directive might be a positive development for vitamin consumers.
Following a proposal of the French, which was backed by Germany and accepted by virtually all the other countries (with the exception only of the United Kingdom and Portugal), the basis for the SCF assessment should be, among other things, "reference intakes of vitamins for the population". This is a euphemism for the outdated and scientifically discredited concept of using the absolute minimum levels necessary for nutritional survival, the RDAs, to set the maximum dosages for products.
Certainly the pharmaceutical industry could not have asked for a better gift. Vitamin products of any usefulness will be produced exclusively by the pharmaceutical cartel and sold under medical control in pharmacies.
Good-bye orthomolecular nutrition!
Good-bye preventive use of supplements!
Why is the directive going off the rails?
It is obvious that the bureaucrats in our national ministries of health have no idea of the benefits and the usefulness of vitamin supplementation. The general idea is that supplements are only to "supplement the normal food intake", that is, to fill up the holes left by wrong eating habits. While this is part of the truth, there is a much more important concept involved, that of the preventive use of nutrients.
Preventive dosages are different from reference intakes, and the beneraucrats that push for low-dose, ineffective supplements are only doing a favour to the chemical/pharmaceutical complex. These are the multinationals guilty of killing hundreds of thousands world wide with the so-called "side effects" of their medicines and now intent on wiping out the only remaining competition dedicated to the maintenance of health instead of the management of sickness.
What can we do?
Each and every one of you must actively work to protect your access to safe and beneficial supplements.
The European Union has no business making a directive that takes away our freedom to use nutrition to protect ourselves from environmental assaults on our health.
Your country's ministry of health has no business helping develop such a restrictive regulation that tramples on one of the few remaining individual freedoms, the freedom to choose what to eat and how to protect our own health!
PLEASE ALL OF YOU OUT THERE DO THE FOLLOWING:
- Find the names and contact details of your government health officials that deal with supplements;
- Phone them, fax them and/or visit them, to let them know that you are a staunch supporter of the preventive use of nutrition and that you have used supplements for years. You do not want your choice of nutrients to be limited, nor should these products be medicalized. Tell them you do feel strongly about this issue, and you would like them to take this into account in any negotiations in Brussels;
- Find the names and contact details of your country's members of the European Parliament;
- Phone them, fax them and/or visit them, to let them know that you are a staunch supporter of the preventive use of nutrition and that you have used supplements for years. You do not want your choice of nutrients to be limited, nor should these products be medicalized. Tell them you do feel strongly about this issue, and you value access to health products without government interference.
If you know others in your country who share your views, form a group. You will be much more effective in your actions.
There is much information available on the internet. Visit our site and go to the page on supplements.
Also, follow the links on the "contacts" page.
National groups are encouraged to develop their own website, and to organise an effective, concerted protest movement using whatever means you have at your disposal.
La Leva di Archimede - Consumers' Association for Freedom of Choice
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