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Dietary Supplements: EC Law

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the effects of EU Food Supplement Directive (2002/46/EC) in setting maximum levels of vitamins and minerals on (a) small vitamin and food supplement producers, (b) consumer choice, (c) the availability of products from unregulated vitamin suppliers from countries outside the EU and (d) sales of vitamin and food supplements in the UK; and what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on this matter. (310450)

The Department has been actively engaged in the ongoing development of a full impact assessment by the Food Standards Agency who lead on this issue for Government; we have not, however, conducted an additional assessment of our own. The Food Standards Agency impact assessment addresses the effect of these proposals on all stakeholders, including small vitamin and supplement producers, UK sales of supplements, availability of unregulated supplies and ongoing consumer choice.

The assessment has been informed by recent constructive meetings between industry, the Food Standards Agency and BIS officials as well as the recent impact assessment carried out by industry representatives following discussions with Food Standards Agency, DEFRA and BIS.

Although I have not had recent discussions with European counterparts on this matter, BIS officials continue to work closely with the Food Standards Agency to develop the UK negotiating position and feed into Commission proposals.