Alliance for Natural Health


Jill Bell, chairman of the IAHS [Irish Association of Health Stores] said, “Irish consumers’ concerns about the direction the European Union is heading in is being influenced significantly by the impending restrictions on natural health products. We had over 60,000 consumers sign our petition in Irish health stores to register our concerns over EU-wide vitamin and mineral dose restrictions likely to hit us in 2009 or 2010. We really hope that the European Commission is going to listen.”

Presenting the key technical concerns to Paola Testori Coggi, Deputy Director General of the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General of the European Commission, and Basil Mathioudakis, Head of the Food Law Unit in the Commission, was Dr Robert Verkerk, executive and scientific director of the ANH [Alliance for Natural Health].

Dr Verkerk stated, after the meeting, “When you consider that the maximum daily vitamin and mineral levels the European Commission are considering for food supplements are much less than you’d find in a single, average meal—you know there’s a problem. You could find three times the possible maximum selenium level in a single brazil nut, or three times the beta-carotene level in a single large raw carrot or three times the zinc level in a single 200 g steak.”

Dr Verkerk added, “The European Commission needs to re-think it’s approach or small businesses across Europe that will be impacted by the impending measures will inevitably be forced to consider a legal challenge.”

The delegation presented its concerns not only over vitamin and mineral dose restrictions, but also over the proposed ban on vitamin and mineral forms on 1 January 2010, restrictions on herbal preparations and their potential impact on herbal-producing communities in less-developed countries, and the restrictions on health claims, which, the delegation argued amounted to an imposition on free speech.

Full article


Dr Robert Verkerk, Alliance for Natural Health
Tel: +44 (0)1306 646 600

Erica Murray, Irish Association of Health Stores
Tel: +353 868 245 354 (tel only on 1 July 2008)


ANH Briefing Notes – presented jointly with the IAHS at the meeting:

1.   Link to position on the Food Supplements Directive:

2.   Link to position on Maximum Permitted Levels (MPLs):

3.   Link to position on Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation:

4.   Link to position on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive:

About the Alliance for Natural Health

The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) is an international, non-governmental organisation, based in the UK. It was founded in 2002, and works on behalf of consumers, medical doctors, complementary health practitioners and health-product suppliers worldwide, to protect and promote natural healthcare, using the principles of good science and good law.