Going after the vitamin lawmakers

Following your January article about the European food supplements directive, I wrote to my MEP Dr Caroline Lucas, and received the enclosed information.

Those who don't have access to the website mentioned by your correspondent in your April edition might like to make representations to the European Consumers Association, as she suggested. As your article predicted, they are recommending that items other than vitamins and minerals be brought within the scope of the legislation. Clare Butler, Milton Keynes......

Thank you for your letter expressing concern about the Food Supplements Directive adopted in the February Strasbourg Plenary. The UK and Irish Greens were not in favour of this report, and regret that their amendments to safeguard liberal regulation schemes were all rejected.

However, this was the first reading of the European Parliament's report and the issue is ongoing. The directive is not yet in force and future readings are certain. I urge you to lobby the BEUC (European Consumers Organisation), who have not consulted the millions of consumers who use and benefit from food supplements. They need to hear your opinion. The BEUC is also very influential in the European Parliament. If BEUC changes its position, this is likely to influence the way many MEPs vote. I, too, will be writing to them as well as the Commission, and I assure you that I will not vote in favour of this directive in future readings.

Contact details: BEUC, The European Consumers Organisation, Av de Tervueren, 36 bte 4, B-1040, Bruxelles; Tel: +322 743 1590, Fax: +322 740 2802; e-mail: bke@beuc.org; website: www.beuc.org .