A concerted worldwide effort by the European Union and a United Nations committee would severely impede your ability to buy supplements and herbal remedies unless you act now to stop them.
Several moves are afoot in Europe which may severely impede your ability to buy the alternative health care products of your choice.
These measures, influenced by pharmaceutical interests, would seek to sharply curtail the ability of the consumer to buy certain high dose vitamin supplements or alternative products.
The measures are insidious, carried out behind closed doors and without media fanfare by unelected officials in Europe who are formulating policy which could have one of the most profound effects on health of any such law in recent history.
The nature of these is so worrying that WDDTY will be helping to organise a worldwide protest next year. You can help us to keep healthcare free by getting involved in our international protest. For details, see p 4.
For some 13 years, Europe has wrestled with creating a standardised market for vitamin and mineral supplements under the guise of setting a universal standard of safety, but individual member states have always got in the way. In 1992, Brussels attempted such a directive, where supplement content would be limited to one to three times the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The directive soon foundered, and finally collapsed under a sustained and concerted protest by the UK government.
Britain and its consumers have always enjoyed one of the most liberal supplement markets in Europe. Many UK consumers, like their American counterparts, believe that high dose vitamins can help to prevent disease, not simply ward off deficiencies.
Although Brussels appeared to have backed off on supplements, behind the scenes, it was plotting something quite different, largely due to continual pressure from European supplement manufacturers.
No sooner had we rounded the corner to the new Millennium than the European Commission made an abrupt volte face. In a White Paper on Food Safety, adopted on 14 January 2000, the Brussels Commission announced that it was putting forth a proposal on the subject in two months' time.
The ministers of the European Union declared in their document 500PCO222, which is basically a food supplements proposal, that there is a wide disparity between the stated laws of individual EU members on the dosages allowed for vitamin supplements. In France and Germany, for instance, no products containing more than one to three times the RDA may be sold without a pharmaceutical licence.
In contrast, countries like the UK and the Netherlands have always enjoyed liberal laws relating to the content of vitamins, with few restrictions. Both countries also have few trade restrictions for export across other European countries. The effect of this is that, in certain countries of Europe, local suppliers have to stand by watching helplessly, their hands tied by their own stringent laws while British exporters declare open season on their local vitamin business. Naturally, the industry which spent the most money lobbying the European ministers is the pharmaceutical industry.
It was amid such a climate of obvious trade disparity that the EU suggested a directive which would standardise laws concerning vitamin supplements all across Europe. The trade advantages were obvious. It would allow the big vitamin giants to sell their products across Europe without having to reformulate them to comply with the requirements of individual countries. This means products can be produced in bulk quantities at a cheaper cost and with greater profits.