Althealth

Save our Supplements

Sir paul McCartney and Sir Elton John Lead Celebrity protest Over Threat to Natural Health products

Sir paul McCartney and Sir Elton John have joined over 40 high profile figures in demanding Government action to prevent the destruction of the natural health industry in the UK.

Other celebrities including Marcus Trescothick, Zoe Ball, Sir Cliff Richard, Jools Holland, Simon le Bon and Julia Mackenzie are supporting the 'Save our Supplements' campaign, which hopes to prevent hundreds of safe and popular vitamins, minerals and herbal products from being wiped from the shelves of UK stores by new European legislation.

The celebrities are urging all consumers who use popular products such as Vitamin C, Echinacea, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid and Multi-Vitamins to write to the Government demanding that it acts to prevent the products being banned.


The threat comes from two new European directives that aim to promote free trade by regulating the type and level of nutrients and herbal products permitted across the EU. There is concern, however, that the proposals take no account of the safe record of these products and fail to recognise the difference in diets, lifestyle and nutritional needs of people across Europe.

The independent consumer group Consumers for Health Choice (CHC) in conjunction with the National Association of Health Stores (NAHS) has launched the nationwide Save Our Supplements campaign. Two million leaflets explaining the issue are being distributed to consumers, and the groups aim to collect more than 1 million petition signatures to present to Mps and Ministers.

Many health analysts believe that the withdrawal of these products is likely to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of visits to Gp surgeries as millions of consumers become unable to purchase the natural remedies they currently use.

Sir paul McCartney recently wrote to friends and colleagues saying: "I believe that we have a right to buy safe, legitimate and natural health food Sir paul McCartney and Sir Elton John have joined over 40 high profile figures


in demanding Government action to prevent the destruction of the natural health industry in the UK.

Other celebrities including Marcus Trescothick, Zoe Ball, Sir Cliff Richard, Jools Holland, Simon le Bon and Julia Mackenzie are supporting the 'Save our Supplements' campaign, which hopes to prevent hundreds of safe and popular vitamins, minerals and herbal products from being wiped from the shelves of UK stores by new European legislation.

The celebrities are urging all consumers who use popular products such as Vitamin C, Echinacea, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid and Multi-Vitamins to write to the Government demanding that it acts to prevent the products being banned.


The threat comes from two new European directives that aim to promote free trade by regulating the type and level of nutrients and herbal products permitted across the EU. There is concern, however, that the proposals take no account of the safe record of these products and fail to recognise the difference in diets, lifestyle and nutritional needs of people across Europe.

The independent consumer group Consumers for Health Choice (CHC) in conjunction with the National Association of Health Stores (NAHS) has launched the nationwide Save Our Supplements campaign. Two million leaflets explaining the issue are being distributed to consumers, and the groups aim to collect more than 1 million petition signatures to present to Mps and Ministers.

Many health analysts believe that the withdrawal of these products is likely to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of visits to Gp surgeries as millions of consumers become unable to purchase the natural remedies they currently use.

Sir paul McCartney recently wrote to friends and colleagues saying: "I believe that we have a right to buy safe, legitimate and natural health food supplements. This right is under threat and I am pleased to lend my name to a campaign that may become necessary to preserve our freedom of choice in the UK. I would be delighted if you felt able to do the same."

The Food Supplements Directive, which is due to be introduced into UK law imminently, contains a list of permitted nutrients and nutrient sources that may be used in supplements. The list is woefully inadequate and fails to reflect the existing UK market. At present over 300 safe and popular nutrients and nutrient sources on sale in the UK are not on the permitted list and, unless extensive assessments are undertaken for each, they will be removed from sale.

The Directive will also lay down the maximum permitted dose levels of vitamins and minerals for each person. political pressure from Germany and France is expected to result in these levels being set well below those currently available in UK, and substantially below the levels that scientists confirm are safe. The result is that consumers' will be prevented from purchasing the safe and beneficial high doses from shops as they do now, forcing them to buy from unregulated markets such as the internet or overseas mail order.

The move, which aims to promote free trade, will hit the natural health industries in the UK and Holland particularly hard, as consumers in these countries purchase more natural health products than in other European countries.
A separate directive on traditional herbal medicinal products will have a devastating effect on nearly all herbal supplements currently on the UK market. To remain on sale, a product must have been on the market for 30 years (of which 15 years must be in Europe) and licensed in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs or vaccines. The likely effect is the collapse of the specialist supplements market including most independent producers and retailers of herbal products.

Sue Croft, Director of Consumers for Health Choice said:


"It is a tremendous boost to our campaign to have these high profile figures, including Sir paul McCartney and Sir Elton John, lending their support. We hope that it will help to raise awareness about the real threats that exist to the future of natural health products in the UK. The Government can still take action to secure these products for consumers, and they must do so. If they don't fight our corner now, millions of people who currently take natural health supplements to remain healthy will lose their right to choose beneficial and safe alternatives to prescription drugs.

"European proposals to regulate herbal products are spiralling out of control and the current plans will result in thousands of herbal products being wiped out. It's absolute madness that a herbal product such as garlic tablets will need to undergo the same licensing process as a vaccine for AIDS or treatment for cancer, but that is what we are facing. It is essential that the Government and its agencies take action now to prevent the destruction of the herbal products industry in the UK and the destruction of consumer choice."

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