Setback for European Supplement Sales

A controversial new ruling by the European Court of Justice will effectively ban over 200 supplements from sale. The judges involved in this Food Supplement Directive believe supplements should be controlled much like conventional medicines. As of August 1, 2005, only vitamins, minerals, herbs and dietary supplements from an approved list will be available for sale across the continent.

Some objectors to this directive complain it will restrict consumer choice, hinder small suppliers' businesses and lead to more red tape.

Proponents stress that the application for a substance to be included on the approved list will be simplified. Substances will only be refused on the basis of a full risk assessment and may be challenged before the court. Furthermore, many soon-to-be banned supplements may remain on the shelves up until 2009, so consumers do not have to rush out and stock up on supplies for fear they might soon disappear.

July 2005

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