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Dietary Supplements: EC Law

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his estimate is of the value of the specialist natural health product (a) manufacturing and (b) retailing sectors; what recent discussions he has had with representatives of these sectors on the regulatory and economic impact of European regulations on food supplements and associated issues; and if he will make a statement. (141950)

I have been asked to reply.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recently carried out an informal consultation on an initial regulatory impact assessment that sets out the current position in the United Kingdom with respect to food supplements and seeks information from stakeholders to measure the potential impact in advance of future European Commission proposals for setting daily dosage levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements. The information will be used to inform the draft regulatory impact assessment, which will then be subject to a formal consultation process.

Based on the information provided by 25 May 2007, the FSA has not concluded on an estimate of the value of the natural health product sectors to date. I met with the specialist manufacturing and health food retail sectors in March 2007, to discuss the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals under Article 5 of the Food Supplements Directive and associated issues.