Dear Members,As a note, Torfaen is a city in South East Wales. The Torfaen Trading Standards Office is located there and the main areas of concern by
Since 2004 we have provided alerts, detailed information, updates and correction reports of misrepresentations to
our members, supporters, the media and legislators throughout the world regarding both the EU Food Supplements
Directive and Codex.
Our basic concerns were that both the EU Food Supplements Directive and Codex would seek to;
a) Eliminate nearly 2/3rds of existing beneficial and readily available substances from the food supplement,
amino acid, herb and traditional medicine arsenal and require extensive research documentation in order to re-
consider an ingredient for inclusion on a newly established approved list.
b) Reduce allowable dosages to near placebo-levels and thus eliminate their effectiveness.
c) Reclassify supplements as medicines / drugs and basically turn their care and development over to the
d) Place stringent restrictions on communications regarding them.
While the EU Food Supplements Directive codified and launched the pharmaceutical “game plan” against
supplements in a series of complex and ominous legislation throughout Europe, Codex would adopt this new
European anti-vitamin legislation and attempt to enforce versions of these laws as international requirements and
“standards.” Standards that each UN member nation would be required to comply with – no matter what position
their existing sovereign laws held on the issues. In the case of the United States, where the most liberal laws
regarding natural health alternatives are said to exist even these could be superseded by Codex standards due to
existing (international) trade agreements:
See: WINHS Report: Codex Impact on Non-European Countries of April 2009.
As the EU Food Supplements Directive was approved in 2002 and upheld by the Court of Justice in 2005, where
do these laws stand at the present time?
Hardly dormant, these new laws are in various stages of clarification and implementation and test cases are being
For example: The future of one of the UK’s most innovative food supplement manufacturers is uncertain due to a
Magistrates Court in Wales. In fact, just last week, the Welsh court heard a criminal case brought by the Torfaen
Trading Standards Office, which claims that a species of ryegrass contained in their natural sleep aid product
“Asphalia” is an unauthorized ‘novel food’.
the Trading Standards Office are: instances of short weights or measures, the safety of consumer goods, any false or misleading
descriptions relating to goods and services, any failures to display selling prices of goods and misleading price indications, product
counterfeiting, consumer credit malpractice, age and other sales restrictions (e.g. tobacco and alcohol products, lighter fuel, solvents,
knives and fireworks).
In this particular case, the Trading Standards Office was utilized by vested interests to bring to a successful supplementation company to
criminal trial as yet another apparent test case.
As background, one of the aspects of the EU Food Supplements Directive – and the earlier individual law from which it is loosely based
will ban nearly 2/3rds of existing supplement substances and require significant reports or dossiers in order to even consider bringing a
now banned substance back onto the approved list, or in the case of herb or traditional medicine products, the law requires a significant
and expensive report and extensive evidence of the products availability and successful use over many years within Europe.
Paralleling food supplement ingredient requirements contained in the EU Food Supplements Directive, the basic premise of this case
parallels is simply that foods or food ingredients which have not had a significant history of use prior to the date in which the European
Novel Foods Regulation (No. 258/97) came into effect must now pass through an onerous pre-market authorization process. The
prosecution is arguing that the Asphalia product contains a novel food ingredient, festuca arundinaceum, a species of fescue (rye grass)
commonly known as tall fescue, which had not been submitted for authorization. The authorization process, which requires extensive
scientific evidence of the safety of the food or ingredient is submitted, can be prohibitively expensive, often exceeding £300,000 per
ingredient, as well as time consuming, sometimes taking years to finalize or ultimately being rejected for lack of evidence.
Of particular interest is that this case seems to be a less than a transparent effort to eliminate this product and shut this company down. In
fact, during the hearing barrister Hugo Charlton, acting on behalf of Asphalia Food Products Ltd, accused the prosecution’s expert witness,
Dr Chris Jones of the Food Standards Agency, of serious abuse of legal process.
Dr Jones, called as an expert witness for the prosecution, failed to disclose that he was also a member of the European Commission’s
Working Group on novel foods. In this capacity he was able to apply his influence to alter the status given to particular foods or food
ingredients. Quite outrageously, during cross-examination, it emerged that just a few days before the trial occurred, Dr Jones had
persuaded his colleagues to alter the products classification given in the Novel Foods Catalogue. The new status now categorizes festuca
arundinaceum unequivocally as a ‘novel food’.
It became apparent during the cross-examination that the motive to push through this change was to assist the prosecution’s case. The
implications of this are considerably greater given the case’s criminal, rather than civil, nature.
Robert Verkerk PhD, head of WINHS’s allied group, the Alliance for Natural Health and acting as an expert for the defense, commented;
“This case epitomizes what is wrong with so many European laws, and how they may work to interfere with people’s fundamental rights and
freedoms. There is no question of any harm being caused by the product, while hundreds of people have provided written testimonials to
the company citing its benefits. Yet, because of an arbitrary date of enforcement of a law enacted in Brussels that was originally intended to
protect people from GM foods, a small Welsh company’s future is now held in the balance while the company’s director could be made a
There has been extensive criticism of the European regulation, not only within the EU, but as far afield as the USA and even within the
United Nations, given its discriminatory and disproportionate effects. When the regulation first came into effect in 1997, its primary aim
was to protect consumers from biotechnological processes, especially genetic modification. Subsequently, a distinct regulatory regime
has been built for genetically modified foods, and now the existing regulation ironically acts as a serious barrier to innovation and the
successful use of non-European foods and botanicals.
The defense barrister, Hugo Charlton, pointed out that Dr Jones had forced the re-classification through in the last few days even though he
was fully aware that the defendant had already been in communication with Dr Jones’ own colleagues in the Food Standards Agency for a
number of months. The purpose of this dialogue was clearly to provide Asphalia with an opportunity to demonstrate that ryegrass powder,
like wheatgrass and barley grass powders, had a significant history of use prior to 1997 therefore could not be regarded as a ‘novel food’
Rye grains are used traditionally in rye bread and beer products, but the leaves from a variety of ryegrasses are also used as ingredients in
a number of leading ‘super greens’ products which have been in production by US companies for several decades.
The ruling on the case is expected to be issued when the case is reconvened on 28th July.
We ask that you stay tuned for more information and help spread the word about this situation and WINHS.ORG no matter what country you
reside in. From time to time we will inform you of actions that are needed to assist in the defeat of these anti-vitamin, anti-natural health
laws moving throughout the world as well as assist us in our efforts to expose and hold accountable the pharmaceutical vested interests
We appreciate your continued support and thank you.
World Institute of Natural Health Sciences
All the best,
Rudi C. Loehwing
World Institute of Natural Health Sciences
See related issues
- Clarification of Codex
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- Alzheimer's drugs double death risk in elderly
- The "Business" of Drugs: Not to be outdone by Eli Lilly, Pfizer raises the Settlement Bar on Criminal Off Label Marketing of Drugs to $2.3 Billion
- The "Business" of Drugs: Pfizer may be hit with another $153 million in potential legal fines for Medicaid fraud
- The "Business" of Drugs: Seroquel's Falsified Studies Exposed
- The "Business" of Drugs: Pharmaceutical "Cocktails" Found in Fish Near Major U.S. Cities
- The "Business" of Drugs: What it takes to spur the FDA into ACTION
- WINHS UPDATE: The European Court of Justice, Following EU Food Supplements Directive Mandates, Takes on Food Supplement Health
- CANADIAN FOOD SUPPLEMENTS ALERT: Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act Bill C-6 Launched
- WINHS ALERT: POWDERED BABY FORMULA WARNING
- Conflicts for FDA committee set to weigh risks of Seroquel
- Firms Tied to some MDs who set Policy Treatment Advice Focuses on Drugs
- FDA Demands Pharma Stops 'Misleading' Ads on Google, Yahoo
- Grassley Probes Financing of Advocacy Group for Mental Health.
- Psychiatry's Prescription For Violence.
For resources to take action on various situations in the world today see my page Thomas Jefferson
For a fun way to perhaps make some difference in the world see my page Save the World!
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WINHS UPDATE: EU Anti Supplement Laws -
Court Test Case Corruption
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