Complementary health industry sources are concerned that the EU may bash the UK just as it has already done with herbal supplements; this time over nutritional supplements.
£50,000 for a license
You may already know that coming EU legislation (due 2011) has already made it necessary for all herbal companies to pay at least £50,000 to obtain a license to sell each of the herbal products which they may have been safely selling for 30 years. For a company with 100 products – as a number of small companies have – that amounts to around £5m.
The cost is not just the cost of the license itself, but also the extensive support material, dossiers and time of paid ‘experts’ which are necessary.
Well, the EU is also having a ‘pop’ at the nutritional supplement industry.
In the UK – as in Ireland and Holland – nutritional supplements with a fairly high potency are generally available, and are popular with consumers. Indeed, I take them myself.
Well, many in the EU in their wisdom – no doubt guided by the pharmaceutical industry, as with the herbal legislation – lean towards only permitting very low dose nutritional supplements. This is because only low dose supplements are available at the moment in most EU countries.
So, the EU would drag us down to their level, you might say.
One size does not fit all
Clearly, legislation that applies to all 25 EU members is sometimes inconvenient for us in the UK. In fact, this seems to happen to us more than it does to other EU countries.
Perhaps this is because there has long been a tradition of freedom in the UK which has not been evident in most EU countries. Our whole legal system is based on this freedom ie Common Law and Case Law – whereas EU legislation is based around written regulations – 65,000 pages of them – called the Napoleonic Code.
Other countries manage to have loose arrangements with the EU but not be members. They also make only token payments to the EU coffers instead of the massive payment the UK makes.
Who’s in charge?
If I object to legislation I want the right to appeal to my government.
In the UK now the government, too often, says: “We can’t help you – you have to appeal to the EU”. That’s what happened with the herbal issue: it’s what is happening with the Nutritional Supplement issue.
Can we have our country back please?
Daniel Hannan, an MEP for Southern England, has some sensible things to say in his blog on this issue.