European Court of Justice Advocate-General declares: Food Supplements Directive is invalid

Millions of EU citizens who use dietary supplements have reason to be happy. Based on the judicial challenge of the Alliance for Natural Health, the EU Court General-Advocate Geelhoed has declared the EU Food supplements directive invalid in the EU Court.

The many million European citizens who use dietary supplements have reason to be happy today. Based on the judicial challenge of the very much debated Food Supplements Directive in the European Court of Justice from the Alliance for Natural Health, the head lawyer of the EU Court, General-Advocate Geelhoed has declared the EU Food Supplements Directive invalid as far as the EU Court is concerned.

Thereby, the chance that the many EU citizens who use dietary supplements - and that the ones who wish to take them in order to preserve their health - can continue to do so, is now increased. The resistance against the planned EU directive has been increasing during the last five years, and the people using dietary supplements now see their chance to win the case which may best be compared to the fight between David and Goliath.

The General-Advocate made his declaration in Luxembourg at 9:30 am today:

  • The Food Supplements Directive violates the principle of proportionality - one of the fundamental principles of the European Court of Justice.
  • The Directive does not sufficiently respect the claim for judicial protection, judicial security, and sensible administration.
  • The Directive is thereby invalid as far as the EU Court is concerned

The declarations of the General-Advocate do not equal a judicial decision; in June of this year, the EU Court will make its final decision, but the Court usually follows the recommendations of the General-Advocate in approx. 80% of the cases.

If the EU Court approves the recommendations, the ban on dietary supplements which was supposed to take effect on August 1st of this year will be repealed. The planned ban involves (approximately 270) types of vitamins and minerals which are not on the EU Directive approved list and they would be regarded as prohibited to sell and impossible to buy. The opposition against the concept of an approved list believes that the scientific demands on nutrients in order to get on this list are far too restrictive, narrow, and based on too weak research.

It seems, for example, that only synthetically produced selenium will be able to get on the approved list while the natural form which is present in e.g. Brazil nuts will risk being banned. This also goes for synthetic versions of vitamin E (which is often used in studies reporting negative results) which would become allowed according to the Directive while the natural and more body-friendly forms of vitamin E would likely be banned.

The biopath Inge Lundberg-Hansen heartily welcomes the declaration of the General-Advocate and says:
"There is so much illness around. We know that dietary supplements prevent illness and that they can spare a lot of people common sufferings such as asthma and allergies - and also that people through using dietary supplements can get more energy, have their mood lifted, and improve their relation with their family, job, and finances. Many of us would be relieved if the bans of the Food Supplements Directive would not take effect."

The health food shop assistant and biopath Agathe Langhof believes that the bans of the Food Supplements Directive will make people angry, and she also welcomes the positive news. She says: "More people than the government is aware of depend upon their vitamins and minerals. People who use dietary supplements are not a minority anymore, but rather half the population. The Food Supplements Directive has made the contrast between the products of the pharmaceutical industry and the dietary supplements more clear to people, and they want to be able to make up their own minds about their health. But perhaps the government does not want us to become too healthy and too old?"

Claus Hancke, M.D., chairman of the Vitality Council, says: "The declaration of the General-Advocate is the first sign of healthy judgment we have seen in relation to the EU Food Supplements Directive and it is my sincere hope that the European Court of Justice will follow the recommendations of General-Advocate Geelhoed."


For more information:

Alliance for Natural Health

Dr Robert Verkerk, Executive Director
Tel. 01252 371 275
Mobile: 0771 484 7225

David C. Hinde, Solicitor, Legal Director
Tel: 0207 738 1640
Mobile: 07958 548 186

IKON Associates
(PR advisers to the Alliance for Natural Health)
Adrian Shaw
Tel: 01483 535102
Mobile: 0797 9900733

Paul Donkersley
Tel: 01483 535101
Mobile: 07967 646046