Brighton and Hove MPs back fight to protect vitamin pills

Posted On 28 Sep 2010 at 4:49 am

The three Brighton and Hove MPs have added their names to a campaign to protect vitamin and mineral supplements from a European directive which takes effect next year.

Mike Weatherley, Simon Kirby and Caroline Lucas have signed a House of Commons early day motion criticising the Food Supplements Directive.

Mr Weatherley, the Conservative MP for Hove, said: “European regulators are committed to decide what dose levels of vitamins and minerals they will allow us to take.

“I predict they will be well below those levels accepted as safe and on the shelves of most health food shops and available right across Britain.

“To ban safe products just to tick another box and make everyone the same across Europe is madness.

“A good example of this is the nation’s favourite 1g vitamin C.

“Unless we stop this legislation we may never see it again.

“There is another side to this apart from the important issue of public health.

“The effects on industry and small independent shops will be devastating.

“It is estimated that around 700 independent health shops will close and many specialist manufacturing jobs will be under threat.

“I am working closely with Specialist Herbal Supplies in Portslade to bring some sense to the situation.”

The Commons motion was proposed by Kate Hoey, the Labour MP for Vauxhall in South London.

It was seconded by Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, and has also been signed by Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown.

Sue Croft, director of the campaign group Consumers for Health Choice, said: “We have been told for years that this proposed legislation is essential to protect consumers but that is nonsense.

“The EU makes no secret of the fact they want to make sure every member state has the same opportunity to each sell exactly the same products, at the same doses, across the whole of Europe.

“No competition, no specialist formulations, very few of the most bio-available nutrient forms – a ‘one size fits all’ approach to our health … the Commission was unwise ever to have brought forward this legislation.

“It is unnecessary and actually risks putting consumers in danger since they will be pushed into the grey market of the internet and overseas mail order sales from unregulated sources where there is no advice and qualities are unknown.”

To read the motion and see who supports it, click here. To read the directive, click here.

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