EU Vitamin legislation

20 February 2009  |  Admin

The European Commission has proposed a Regulation setting out common rules for the voluntary addition of vitamins, minerals and other substances such as herbal extracts to foods. The proposed legislation would harmonise the different rules in Member States and allow the free movement throughout the EU of foods “fortified” with nutrients. It would also create a list of approved vitamins, minerals and other substances. Minimum and maximum levels for adding different nutrients to foods would be set following scientific advice and labelling would show consumers which nutrients have been added to each product. The proposal will be adopted under the so-called co-decision procedure.

Despite much criticism and lobbying since 2002, this new legislation must be seen as a victory for the consumer and for transparency. This new Directive goes a long way in allowing Europe to tackle food security. We are living through changing and evolving times where laws, at a European level, must reflect the need to improve food security across Member States. Is it totally rational that while the food manufacturer has to wade through a sea of legislation to put a product on the shelf, the vitamin supplier merely has to stick on any old label? This current disparity will disappear with the emergence of the Food Supplement Directive. Green Bear has been producing the trimmendous range from its laboratories under pharmaceutical conditions well ahead of this directive - explained in more detail in green bear laboratories.

In the words of David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection: "The aim of this legislation is to put consumer safety and informed consumer choice first. The aim of the Directive is not to ban food supplements as some lobbies have misled consumers to believe. Labels must give them clear information about how to use and how not to use them. These principles of food safety…apply here as they do to all other food products." In addition to the increased security for the consumer, the new legislation brings a much needed harmonisation of national laws to the marketplace. For years cries of change have been heard from companies wishing to trade between Member States. A fleet of different laws from one country to the next has made the effective marketing and selling of products far from efficient and a positive juggling act. With the advent of this directive, the food supplement industry looks set to enter a dynamic period of change.

However.... it has to be said the EU bureaucracy and its, "we all want a slice of the action" mentality.... well that's another story altogether.

Those, undoubtedly a small minority, fearing clarity and transparency cannot compete. This legislation is already incorporated into the production of the green bear trimmendous range. All the certificates awarded to Green Bear products you will find in "product info" under "green bear laboratories".