Most supplements to be banned in Europe by Aug 2005
Most supplements to bebanned in Europe by Aug 2005
FOR YOUR INFO THOUGH YOU NEED TO KNOW
THIS IS FOR YOU ALL TO UNDERSTAND THE RAMIFICATIONS OF WHAT IS OCCURRING
DO WHAT YOU CAN
" Two years ago, I told you about the passage of the European Union (EU)
Directive on Dietary Supplements. This directive, which is part of a larger
form of legislation called Codex Alimentarius, severely restricts access to
natural health products in Europe. At the time, it probably seemed a long
way off: After all, the law wasn't to go into effect for several years
following the initial passage.
Unfortunately, that several years is up, and the EU Directive is on track to
take full effect in August 2005-less than a year from now--and by 2007, the
scene described above will certainly be a reality for many, many people.
Obviously, this is devastating news for Europe. But thanks to some
pre-existing international agreements made by the U.S., the EU Directive
will be just as devastating for the natural health community here. The main
difference is that while the Directive has been big news in Europe for some
time, it's been virtually ignored by U.S. media, which means that the severe
restrictions it calls for will sneak up on most people and rob us all of our
freedom to choose natural alternatives before we even know what's happening.
That's why I and many of my colleagues in the health publishing world have
done our best to keep you informed of the Directive's developments-and their
consequences for the U.S.-over the years. And why we've decided to make a
big push in our September newsletters by covering it in-depth.
Simply put, we're down to the wire, and if we don't act immediately, we will
be facing the same fate as Europeans. There are steps you can take to get
the word out and, hopefully, to diffuse this ticking time bomb. But first,
let's take a few minutes and recount some of the specifics included in the
Directive so that you know exactly what it is we're fighting against.
5,000 products set to disappear
The EU Directive classifies vitamins and minerals in Europe as "medical
drugs" rather than dietary supplements, which means that they're subject to
government regulation in terms of dosage and availability. It gets worse:
There are many nutrients known to be vital to optimal health that are not on
the government's RDA nutrient list including chromium picolinate, lysine,
and selenium. Under the Directive, these types of supplements are banned
from over-the-counter sale. Put simply, it will be illegal to buy them
without a prescription.
The supplements that will be available will be restricted to multi-vitamins
containing no more than 100 percent of the established RDA amounts, which
are usually useless, trivial quantities--and they'll be far more expensive
than what we have now.
This Directive, for all intents and purposes, makes it illegal for people to
keep themselves healthy by supplementing with essential nutrients.
Plus, the Directive only allows supplements to be made from a list of 15
minerals and 13 vitamins. That leaves out at least 40 minerals important in
human metabolism and forbids the use of the most bio-available forms of
vitamin complexes. In essence, it means that all nutritional supplements
will be virtually the same-the specific combinations might vary, but the
types and amounts of nutrients will be identical-no matter what product
they're formulated into.
So, for instance, a middle-aged woman in Liverpool, England, who has a
dangerously elevated homocysteine level will no longer have the option of
reducing her risk of heart disease with a vitamin B dosage of her own
choosing. If she's currently taking 5 mg of folic acid daily, under the new
Directive she will be legally restricted to a prescription of 1 mg per day.
If she's taking a 100 mg dose of B6, she'll be restricted to 10 mg. And her
pantothenic acid (B5) intake of 500 mg will drop to 200 mg. These maximum
dosage levels have been chosen to "protect" her (so we're told), when in
fact the protection she needs the most will be unavailable.
In addition to these essential B vitamins, low maximum dosage levels have
also been set for vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin E. But at least they made
it on the list of allowed nutrients.
Approximately 350 supplement ingredients are missing from the list. If they
are not added to the list by June 2005, they will be deemed illegal
throughout the European Union. Supplement manufacturers may submit
"technical dossiers" to support applications for the inclusion of individual
elements or formulations on the so-called "positive list." But the EU has
made this process so expensive and time consuming that many manufacturers
simply can't afford the costs involved. As a result, around 5,000 safe
formulas and nutrients that have been on the market for decades will soon be
Saving us from ourselves
Of course, these regulations were all passed under the guise of "protecting
the public." According to the World Health Organization, popular alternative
medicines are often "misused" and may "harm patients." They point out that
the "incorrect use" of alternative therapies has caused deaths in wealthy
countries where more and more patients rely on them.
You could also argue that the incorrect use of kitchen knives, water skis,
and even plastic bags have all caused deaths! Not to mention the use of
AMA-sanctioned medical procedures and FDA-approved drugs. The key phrase
here is "incorrect use."
The WHO could do everyone a service by first addressing the incorrect use of
accepted mainstream therapies that have caused far more widespread death and
adverse reactions than natural medicine therapies ever have or ever will.
Although they are few and far between, there are mistakes and fatalities
associated with alternate therapies, supplements, and herbal remedies. It's
always important to keep in mind that many of the compounds and herbs used
in natural medicine treatments are very powerful. They have risks and
potential side effects, which is why I always recommend that you work
closely with skilled natural medicine practitioners whenever you use these
therapies. But even with their cautions, natural remedies are far, far safer
than prescription drugs, and one reason might be the users themselves. An
article published in the journal Psychologist noted that people who seek out
natural and alternative treatments are generally more health conscious than
non-users, and believe that by making sound lifestyle choices they can
influence their own health. But not if the EU has anything to say about it.
Where's the "fight for freedom" when you need it?
You'd think that such blatant abuse of power to restrict people's personal
liberty would have our own self-proclaimed freedom-loving government up in
arms (literally). But there's an even darker side to all this, and it has
little--if anything-- to do with health or looking out for people's best
Even if the American government didn't want to go along with the regulations
imposed by the EU Directive, we really wouldn't have a choice. In fact, the
United States never has acknowledged or stated any form of acceptance for
the EU Directive. But hard as it is to believe, this "Directive" can
actually over-ride United States law if it isn't stopped in Europe.
As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the U.S. will be bound by
any finalized standards put forth in the Directive.
If we choose to ignore the regulations our WTO-affiliation binds us to, we
would face severe trade sanctions with other WTO countries, which could
potentially cripple part of our economy. And there's no way that our already
anti-natural-medicine government is going to let that happen over access to
vitamins and minerals. So the best way to ensure it doesn't get to that
point is to do everything we can to stop it now--before it happens.
Protect your rights with these 3 steps
There are three actions to take. The most urgent is to support a case
brought by the British Alliance for Natural Health to overturn the European
Food Supplements Directive. In January 2004, the Alliance's attorneys (a
firm which has successfully had another European Directive overturned) won
the first round in the High Court of Justice in London; the appeal was
referred to the European Court of Justice. Please visit the Alliance's
website, www.alliance-natural-health.org, read about their case, and most
importantly, make a donation to support their efforts to protect everyone's
supplements, including yours. Even a few dollars will help; a few dollars
from each of us will add up. If we can help them overturn this food
supplement dictatorship in Europe, it won't ever come here.
The second action I urge you to take is to write, call, and e-mail your
state's Senators and Congressmen. Tell your Senators to oppose S.722, the
Dietary Supplement Safety Act, and tell your Congressmen to oppose H.R.
3377, the Dietary Supplement Access and Awareness Act. These two bills put
the wheels in motion for restrictions similar to those outlined in the EU
Directive to become U.S. law, which would be even more threatening to us
than just an inter- national code of standards. These extremely dangerous
and misnamed proposals would allow the FDA to "roll back" most of the small
amount of health care freedom you and I re-gained with the 1994 "DSHEA" law
we all fought so hard for. Even if we're successful in helping the Alliance
for Natural Health defeat the European Food Supplements Directive, if these
bills are passed into law, our supplement choices will shrink dramatically
The final step to take is to tell your U.S. Senators and Congressmen to
support U.S. Representative Ron Paul's H.R. 1146, the American Sovereignty
Restoration Act. This accurately named (for once) legislation would make the
Constitution of the United States the supreme law of the land again, and
restore law-making and judging power to our elected representatives and
American courts, respectively. Please don't leave this off your list; in the
long run, it's the most important action of the three.
Please make a donation-of any size-to the Alliance for Natural Health as
soon as you can. Then, please write, call, fax, and e-mail your U.S.
Senators and Representative as often as you can, telling them to oppose S.
722 and H.R. 3377, and to support American freedom by voting for H.R. 1146.
For further information on the European Union Directive on Dietary
Supplements and on the Codex Alimentarius legislation, contact the American
Holistic Health Association http://www.ahha.org , the Alliance for Natural Health
http://www.alliance-natural-health.org or the International Advocates for Health