ECJ Advocate General Says: The Food Supplement Directive Invalid under EU Law

April 5, 2005

The many millons of European food supplement users have a good reason to be happy today. After the health freedom alliance, The Alliance for Natural Health’s landmark challenge of the very contentious Food Supplement Directive (FSD) by the European Courts of Justice (ECJ), the ECJ Advocate General Geelhoed today has stated that the directive is invalid according to EU law.

This increases the chance for the many supplement users to maintain the possibility of taking supplements to take care of their health..

The resistance against the planned EU-directive has been growing for the last five years and the supplement users now see a possibility to win the case, which can be likened to the fight between David and Goliath.

The Advocate General in a statement released in Luxembourg today at 9:30 Continental time, concluded that:

-The Food Supplements Directive infringes the principle of proportionality – because
– basic principles of Community law, such as the requirements of legal protection, of legal certainty and of sound administration have not properly been taken into account.
– The Directive is therefore invalid under EU law.

The Advocate General’s pronouncement is not a ruling. That will come from the ECJ judges, later – in June. But typically, in the vast majority of cases, the Court Judgment follows the recommendations of the Advocate General with 80%.

If the Advocate General’s recommendations are adopted, in effect, the ban on (ca 270) vitamin and mineral forms not included on the EU’s ‘Positive list,’ due to come into effect on 1 August 2005, will be declared illegal to sell and impossible to buy. The opposition to the positive list concept of allowable nutrient forms finds it too narrow, too restrictive, and based on flawed science.

An example could also be that synthetically produced selenium could be allowed on the positive list, while the natural source found in e.g. Brazil nuts would not; synthetic forms of Vitamin E (often used in ‘adverse’ vitamin studies reported in the media) would be allowed, but the natural, most beneficial food forms would not.

Alternative practitioner Inge Lundberg-Hansen is happily welcoming the Advocate General statement, and says: “There is so much sickness around. We know that food supplements prevent and that they can save us many of the wide spread diseases such as asthma and allergies, and that people by the help of supplements can obtain more energy, a better health and mood, a better relationship to their family, work, and financial situation. We are many, who will be happy, if the ban of the Food Supplement Directive does not come into effect.”

Alternative practitioner and health shop assistant, Agathe Langhof, is of the opinion that the ban of the Food Supplement Directive will make people very angry, so she is also very happy to hear about today’s positive news. She says: “Much more people than the authorities are aware of are depending on their vitamins and minerals. Supplement users are no longer a minority, but rather amount to half of the population. And the Food Supplement Directive case has made the contrast between pharmaceutical medicine and food supplements more distinct, and they want to decide over their own health. But maybe we are not supposed to too healthy and old?”

The M.D. Claus Hancke, who is the chairman of the Vitality Council says: “The Advocate General’s recommendation is the first sign we see of a sound judgement in connection with the EU Supplement Directive and it is my heartfelt hope that the ECJ will follow the Advocate General’s recommendation.”

BY: Vitality Council / SOURCE: ANH PRESS RELEASE / 05-04-05


For more information:
Alliance for Natural Health (ANH)