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In regard to the European Commission's proposed Directive on Food Supplements, what steps they intend to take to ensure that the limited list of approved nutrients which it puts forward is extended further before being enacted to include all those vitamins and minerals which are currently available on general retail sale under food law in the United Kingdom; and whether they will press for amendments to provide for the speedy future addition of nutrients to the permitted list; and [HL2585]
Whether they have sought clarification as to whether the European Commission's proposed Directive on Food Supplements is intended to prohibit, or will have the effect of prohibiting, the sale as food supplements of products which contain nutrients other than vitamins and minerals.[HL2586]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: We have been advised by the Food Standards Agency that the text of the proposed directive on dietary supplements has been circulated for comment to interested parties, including consumer groups, enforcement authorities, manufacturers and retailers. When detailed views are known, the United Kingdom will seek any necessary clarifications and amendments. In the meantime we are taking every opportunity to press the case for arrangements which protect public health but do not restrict unnecessarily the range of products available to consumers. We believe that limits on the levels of vitamins and minerals in dietary supplements should only be set where necessary and should be based on safety considerations. The Food Standards Agency is taking every opportunity to promote this view in discussions with the European Commission and other member states.
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