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Europe Getting Closer to Severe Supplement Restrictions

It appears that the European Union is getting very close to putting severe restrictions on nutritional supplements in Europe. Their Food Supplements Directive creates a restricted list of vitamins and minerals that after August 2005, nutrients not on the list will be banned. A similar list exists for herbal products. The legislation states anything that 'restores, corrects or modifies physiological function' in the body will be deemed a drug.

This is all done under the guise of public safety. However their combined effect will be to drive out, degrade or drive underground many of the herbs and nutrients to which many are using to recover their health. This is exceptionally ridiculous in light of the fact that the risk of death from food supplements is less than that of being struck by lightening, and significantly less than that of dying of a drug allergy.

The list appears to be compiled by clueless legislators who don't understand squat about natural medicine. As an example, with respect to selenium they include the less beneficial inorganic selenite and selenate, but two organic forms, selenomethionine and selenium yeast, are not on the list and banned. Amazing that Europe could pass tough GM food laws but let the drug company succeed on the supplement front. Fortunately, the legislation is not law yet and there is still time for the Europeans to correct this obviously drug-industry influenced act. Gratefully, the United States does not have any similar nonsense nutritional laws on the horizon.

The Guardian February 29, 2004

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