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Food Supplements

Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received from Biocare in relation to the provisions of the (a) Food Supplements Directive and the (b) Food Supplements (England) Regulations; and what response he has made to those representations.[119834]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assesment he has made of the impact on (a) consumer choice and (b) the United Kingdom food supplements industry of the possible setting by the European Union of maximum permitted levels of nutrients in food supplements at levels substantially lower than those permitted in the United Kingdom.[119880]

Article 5 of Directive 2002/46/EC on Food Supplements sets out principles for setting maximum limits for vitamins and minerals in food supplements, although no specific figures have yet been set.Should the future setting of maximum permitted levels of nutrients in food supplements result in levels substantially lower than those currently used in the United Kingdom, this could, in the long run, result in the removal from the UK market of certain high-dose products, with a consequent reduction in consumer choice and impact on the UK food supplements industry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the implications for United Kingdom treaty obligations if the (a) Welsh Assembly and (b) Scottish Parliament were not to approve the Food Supplements (Wales) Regulations.[120067]

If the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament did not approve the Food Supplements (Wales) Regulations and the Food Supplements (Scotland) Regulations respectively, the United Kingdom would not have fulfilled its obligations under the EC Treaty to fully transpose the Food Supplements Directive. This would be a serious breach of the UK's obligations under the Treaty and would attract infraction proceedings from the Commission.