Geoffrey Lean then re-submitted his original
to the Daily Mail who printed it in full
(typed below as not on their website).
This mentions the
Natural Health whose work up till now has been
virtually airbrushed out of the news!
Do try and read the whole article below as it
is very important and the first time anything
has been printed in the press that outlines
the whole situation.
Why do meddling Eurocrats want to ban
your vitamin pills?
(Could it be anything to do with the drug
giants hoping for huge profits?)
Daily Mail (Good Health section) 25/1/05
day millions of us swallow vitamins, mineral
supplements and alternative medicines in the
well founded belief that they will benefit our
But in just six months, our favorite pills
will be outlawed by diktat of the European
Union, aided and abetted by Tony Blair's
Government with a little help from the
pharmaceutical industry, which sees a golden
opportunity to take control of a lucrative
From the beginning of August, thousands of
popular products will disappear from the
shelves - allegedly on safety grounds - unless
last-ditch attempts to save them succeed.
Today, campaigners are asking the European
Court of Justice to over-rule the ban, which
is contained in a little-publicized EU
Alliance for Natural Health
- representing both consumers and producers -
they will argue that the European Union is
exceeding its powers. But our Government -
together with those of
- is joining the EU in resisting them.
And this afternoon, the Tories, in a highly
unusual move, are giving one of their rare
allocations of debating time in the House of
Commons to a cross-party motion calling for
the ban to be scrapped. The motion is
co-sponsored by Tory frontbencher Chris
Grayling and former Labor minister Kate Hoey
and supported by MPs from all parties.
If these two last-minute bids fail and the
honest attempts of millions to improve their
health are thwarted - the Government and the
EU will face an explosion of outrage and
Already, one million people have signed a
petition condemning the ban and MPs have
received heaps of letters.
such as Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright,
Bianca Jagger, Jenny Seagrove and Cherie
Blair's ertwhile guru, Carole Caplin have also
lobbied against it. But so far, every
protest, every argument has fallen on tightly
closed ears in
We are heading for an Alice Through the
Looking Glass world, where, in Chris
Grayling's words: 'It will be illegal for a
grown adult to buy vitamin tablets but legal
for a teenager to purchase cigarettes.'
More than 40% of us take mineral and vitamin
pills; a third of us take them every day.
Like all alternative medicines they provoke
controversies, some stirred up by a medical
establishment and drug companies who fear that
people will prefer them to their expensive
Some studies do suggest that some alternative
products may endanger health if taken at
recklessly high doses - though they are not in
the same league as the damage caused by
side-effects from prescription drugs, which
one authoritative study concludes are the
fourth biggest cause of death in the
, after heart disease, cancer and strokes.
On the other hand, research shows that a lack
of minerals and vitamins increases the risk of
cancer and heart disease - and that levels of
them are dropping alarmingly in modern diets.
would suggest it is sensible to take the pills
- and indeed a recent study by the American
Medical Association shows that some do offer
protection against these killer diseases.
This seems to make no difference to the EU
which has gone about banning them in a
particularly underhand way - through the Food
Supplements Directive, a measure aimed at
harmonising trade - following intense lobbying
by drug companies.
The Directive stipulates that no supplements
can be sold after August 1 that contain
minerals or vitamins unless they are on a
restricted - and apparently illogical -
Incredibly , some controversial compounds such
as sodium fluoride, used to kill pests, and
caustic soda, used to clean drains are on the
list, while scores of safe, non-toxic
ingredients believed to benefit health, are
Campaigners calculate that about 300 of the
420 forms of minerals and vitamins contained
in some 5,000 supplments on sale in Braitian
will be outlawed.
Some minerals - such as vanadium, silicon and
boron - are banned entirely. More often, says
Alliance for Natural Health,
relatively crude forms of minerals and
vitamins are allowed, while the more
sophisticated ones preferred by alternative
medicine practitioners are banned.
For example, it says, forms of iron known to
cause stomach upsets in some people will be
permitted, while ones taken up more easily by
the body will be outlawed.
And naturally occurring folic acid - found in
spinach - will be banned, while the form sold
by pharmaceutical companies will be allowed.
Other products may escape the ban, if special
'safety dossiers' on them are submitted. But
the small companies that make them cannot
afford the cost - at up to £250,000 an
ingredient for products that may contain many.
this just bureaucracy gone mad? Or something
There's a clue in the contents of that
approved list: by and large, vitamins and
minerals produced by big drug companies are on
it, while ones made by small, specialist firms
Another clue is provided by the fact that the
big drug companies have welcomed the ban.
Well, they would, wouldn't they? They say
customers will notice little difference as
their products will be
on sale as usual.
win both ways. Competition from sophisticated
alternative medicines will be greatly reduced
and they will be well-placed to dominate any
residual market for the supplements, as
smaller firms are forced out of business.
And what are we to make of this Government,
which refuses to take adequate action on known
perils like salt and fat in foods on the
grounds that people have the right to decide
what they consume, so long as they do not harm
Is it just being illogical in taking the
opposite view over vitamins and minerals? Or
is it being consistent in promoting the
profits of giant food and drugs companies over
the health of the people it is supposed
The answer seems inescapable, and
disgraceful. And there is worse to come. For
this is just the start of an EU bid to get rid
of most alternative medicines; a similar ban
on herbal pills is in the pipeline.
are sowing dragons' teeth. For the outrage at
the ban is likely to hit its peak just as they
are seeking Britons' approval in a referendum
on the European constitution.
And such blatant interference in personal
freedom is likely to turn many more people
against the EU than the Euro.
Already some ministers sense the danger.
Peter Hain has condemned the proposed ban as
'unnecessary interference'. It is hard to
For, as a long-standing supporter of the
European ideal, I have to admit that the
shameful story of the supplements illustrates
the very abuse of power about which the
skeptics have long warned us.