Wednesday, April 06, 2005

EU Food Supplement Directive Opined Invalid by Advocate General

An Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has issued an opinion that the EU Food Supplements Directive is invalid. As reported by in an article by Elitsa Vucheva, one of the EU Advocates General has opined that "an EU law restricting the sale of food supplements, including vitamins, is violating various guidelines and so is invalid."

Although the opinion of the Advocate General is not legally binding, the European Court of Justice, which will issue a final ruling by August on this matter, generally follows these opinions. For the procedure involved see "EU Court of Justice", 3rd column, at

This is an important opinion because the Food Supplements Directive is a classic case of overreaching in law-making. As noted in the EU Observer:

"Only vitamins and minerals on an approved list should be used in supplements, according to the Directive. It also imposes restrictions on vitamin doses.

Furthermore, health food manufacturers have until 12 July this year to submit detailed and complete dossiers to prove that their ingredients are safe."

The Directive if upheld would be a substantial financial burden on food supplement producers, who are often small companies unable to finance this kind of compliance. Additionally, the requirement that only vitamins and minerals on approved lists could be used would create monopoly situations totally out of phase with the reality of food supplement markets.

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