To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the remarks by the Minister of State for Health, Phil Hope, on 5 May (HC Deb, col. 54WH), whether they have received (a) a timetable for the implementation of the Food Supplements Directive and Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation in Jersey, and (b) an update from the authorities in Guernsey regarding their intentions to implement that legislation. [HL5268]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent assessment they have made of the impact on (a) United Kingdom businesses, and (b) consumers, of the importation of health food products from the Channel Islands containing illegal ingredients or marketed using illegal claims. [HL5270]
To ask Her Majesty's Government when officials from the Department of Health last met representatives of the health food industry to discuss the impact of the trade in health food products from the Channel Islands on (a) United Kingdom businesses, and (b) United Kingdom consumers; and whether they plan such a meeting in the future. [HL5271]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Food Standards Agency has been asked by the government of Jersey to provide an opinion on whether the definition of food businesses operator includes fulfilment businesses. [HL5273]
Jersey has advised that its Health Protection Department continues to work on drafting instructions for law to implement the European Food Supplements Directive and Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation, although drafting time for this law has yet to be allocated in their legislative programme. A timetable for implementation of the legislation in Jersey has not been supplied.
Guernsey has advised that the board of its Health and Social Services Department has directed officials in that department to investigate the effect of implementing the European Food Supplements Directive and Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. This work has begun and is ongoing.
The private nature of the mail order transactions involved in the personal importation of health food products from the Channel Islands means that it is not possible to collate the information necessary to assess the impact on United Kingdom businesses or consumers of products containing ingredients, or making health claims, which would be illegal in the UK. Health food products imported commercially from the Channel Islands into the UK must comply with relevant UK food law and non-compliance may result in enforcement action.
No meetings have recently taken place between officials of the department and representatives of the health food industry to discuss the impact of the trade in health food products from the Channel Islands on United Kingdom businesses and consumers and there are no plans for such a meeting.
In September 2008, an official of the Government of Jersey sought the view of the Food Standards Agency as to the status of businesses trading in foodstuffs which never physically fall into their possession. In its response, the Food Standards Agency advised that as the definition of “food business” in Regulation (EC) 178/2002 (General Food Law) refers to “activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of food”, this would not preclude businesses of the type mentioned from falling under the definition and, hence, being subject to relevant food law.