Death By Supplements

Germany: the centre for regulatory innovation

I got off a plane from Canada early yesterday morning and rushed to a meeting in London with key players in one of the major German natural products and naturopathic practitioner associations. Trouble — big trouble — is in the making in Germany; we discussed new national legislation being considered by the German government that has an even more devastating effect than the existing battery of European laws that are incrementally being imposed. The German trade association was looking for our help, along with others, to help influence both German and European laws. It seems that the intent of governments, pushed along by a series of corporations and vested interests, to prevent us living healthy, long lives in as natural a manner as possible, has no end.

Canada mirrors much of the EU legislative game plan

In Toronto, I had meetings with the US and Canadian lawyers in the front lines of the struggle to help natural health remain an option and rightful choice by the people of North America.  When we compare some of the key markers for European regulation with that of Canada, with its licensing system for natural health products that’s slowly but steadily being implemented, the two systems already largely mirror one another. One wonders if it will be just a matter of time before the German government tries to influence even further the pattern of global legislation; and it will come as no surprise that Germany has for decades now held the chair of the key Codex Alimentarius handling food and nutrition related issues.

The European canary has landed in America

For Americans readers viewing the mayhem going on in Europe and Canada, we think you should check you’re not seeing what’s happening in the USA through rose-tinted glasses. Your rights and freedoms, just like ours, are rapidly being handed to unelected bureaucrats. Ours are mainly in Brussels, while yours are littered through a plethora of Federal Agencies.  Following our check of 12 key regulatory criteria that are now shared between the EU and Canada, we find that the US currently shares more than 60%. Given the intent of the FDA’s New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) guidelines, a key issue being campaigned against by ANH’s US team, you can expect to see increasing convergence of US and EU laws if opposition to them is unchecked.

The FDA’s NDI guidance is akin to a European canary in a US mineshaft. It has so much in common with the EU’s Novel Food Regulation, that is rapidly becoming the biggest barrier to the sale of botanicals in Europe. This hasn’t happened by coincidence. The joined up nature of regulation designed to strangle access and usage of natural healthcare is part of a much bigger plan designed by a few who are still prepared to claim that their motive resides in a constitutional or moral duty to protect consumers. That’s an odd one when the chance of dying from taking a natural health product is around 70 times less than the risk of dying in a Boeing 747.

Undisclosed side effects of natural health products

In my case, I’m surprised I’m still alive to write this eAlert. I not only flew twice in a 747 in 3 days, but I continue to take numerous natural health products each day, including melatonin, banned as a food supplement in the EU. Perhaps I should be asking the European or Canadian authorities if they can help me: I’m concerned I don’t have symptoms of jet lag….is it possible I’m suffering an undeclared side effect?

Please read and share this week’s stories below from our Europe-based team.

In health naturally – feeling lucky to still be alive

Rob Verkerk PhD
Founder, executive and scientific director