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Dietary Supplements: Health Hazards

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) impact assessment and (b) economic impact assessment has been conducted in respect of the proposed restriction of sale of food supplements above a certain potency; and if he will make a statement. (307122)

An initial impact assessment on the setting of minimum and maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements was developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in early 2007 with advice from better regulation teams at the FSA and Cabinet Office in order to obtain the views of stakeholders at an early stage and to inform the UK's negotiating position. The agency continues to gather information for, and develop, the impact assessment in consultation with industry.

A European Commission-sponsored analysis of the economic, social and environmental impact of the policy options for the establishment of maximum levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements was undertaken in 2008. The United Kingdom food supplements industry provided relevant data. The European Commission has indicated that this impact assessment will accompany its proposals on maximum levels when they are issued.

The FSA will make a detailed assessment of the likely impact of setting maximum levels when the levels are set out in formal proposals. The FSA will carry out a full public consultation on the Commission's proposals and its draft impact assessment at that time.