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Vitamins Ban

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the UN Codex (Ban on Vitamins); and if he will make a statement. [17318]

There is no Codex ban on vitamins. The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses is currently in the process of drawing up guidelines on supplements containing vitamin and minerals. These address a number of issues, including the setting of maximum vitamin and mineral content of supplements. The latest draft, which is due to be discussed again in September 1998, includes a number of possible options for this. One of these provides for the vitamin and mineral content of supplements to be limited to 100 per cent. of the recommended daily intake. Other options included establishing maximum limits on a case by case basis, and having no maximum at all.Codex standards and guidelines are advisory and it is for individual Governments to decide what use, if any, they wish to make of them.