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Letters to the Editor Issue 101

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 101 - July 2004

Yorkshire Man Ready to Take on European Union

Robert Ellis from Selby, North Yorkshire is making a stand against what he believes are ‘ridiculous’ European Directives which threaten to restrict, and even make illegal, vitamins and traditional herbal medicines that have been around for centuries.

Ellis, 59, proclaims that he has had enough of ‘faceless Eurocrats’ from Europe imposing what he believes are unreasonable rules and regulations and is set to challenge the contentious EU Directives on Food Supplements (FSD)*.

So fired up is Ellis, that he has decided to try and reverse the Directives and fight Europe head on, by standing as an independent candidate for one of Yorkshire and Humberside’s six seats.

He believes that the new EU rules will automatically be made law by the Government – without any consideration for the people they affect. What’s more, the ruling would strike a huge blow to small businesses in the industry, leading to thousands of job losses.

“Vitamin pills and traditional herbal medicines that have been around for decades, in some instances centuries, are under serious threat,” Ellis explains. “Everyone can benefit from the sensible use of supplements – in particular, the elderly, pregnant and those coping with chronic diseases. We can’t allow faceless bureaucrats to take away our basic freedoms – not without a fight.”

“This is my first foray into politics – I’m a self-employed business man and have been for most of my life. I’m not wealthy or the head of a large corporation – I’m just an ordinary Yorkshire man, who’s decided it’s time for to stand for what I believe in. I’m determined to get my voice heard through this insanity.”

Ellis continues, “Many people believe that it’s a hopeless case and that there’s no point even voting – that is defeatist and will get us nowhere. It’s time to stand up and fight for sense, for what we want – not stay quiet and let Governments and Corporate giants do as they please. We don’t have to swallow this very bitter pill.”

“If I can get elected, against the odds, then I will act as the voice of the small business and the voice of the people. I’ll be your man on the ‘inside’ – ready to fight for what is right.”

*EU Directives 2001/83/EC: 2004/24/ EC: 2002/46/EC Traditional Herb Medicines; Food Supplements

Further Information

Robert Ellis can be contacted on Tel: 01977 662469; Fax: 01977 661088; Mob: 07939 507137;

Codex Alimentarius – Optimizing Nutrient Intakes

During the annual meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition and Foods For Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) in November 2003, a decision was made to establish an electronic working group to set new nutrient reference values for the labelling of food products.

Work on this is proceeding and indeed, the National Health Federation (NHF) has recently made a well documented proposal for optimized nutrient reference values that would – if adopted – get us closer to the goal of real prevention based on nutrition.

Paul Taylor has transmitted the Federation’s proposal arguing that current references such as the RDAs are insufficient to assure optimal health in populations, adding that it would be a major step forward for global public health if the CCNFSDU were to finally accept and support the growing medical evidence that vitamin and mineral supplements prevent disease, promote optimum health and prolong lifespan.

We can find the excellent proposal of the National Health Federation on their website – Cardiovascular disease and cancer, two of the major causes of death, could be largely prevented if nutritional status of the population was adequate. Hence the importance of the nutrient reference values.

The World Health Organization currently attributes one-third of all global deaths annually (15.3 million) to cardiovascular disease; in 2000 over 6 million deaths occurred globally from cancer. Moreover, estimates predict that by 2020 the total number of cases of cancer will have increased by 73% in the developing world and by 29% in the developed world. By 2020 it is estimated that chronic diseases will account for almost three-quarters of all deaths worldwide.

Current estimates of nutritional sufficiency, be they RDAs, AIs, EARs or NRVs, do not set nutritional intakes with the concept of optimum health in mind. They are simply estimates of the amounts of nutrients that healthy populations would require to maintain normal function and health and to avoid nutritional deficiency diseases. This approach, in our opinion, is highly flawed.

Given the increasing prevalence in our societies of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, allergies, arthritis, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and depression, we believe that by definition our current system of nutritional values is no longer applicable.

Moreover, the consistency of evidence in the scientific literature clearly demonstrates that individuals who consume nutritional supplements have a lower risk of contracting serious disease – a position that has now been taken by two of the world’s leading medical journals.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reversed its anti-vitamin policy “it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements”. The article examined articles about vitamins in relation to chronic diseases between 1966 and 2002, and concluded that inadequate intake of vitamins has been linked to the development of coronary heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

The April 9, 1998 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine featured Eat Right and Take a Multivitamin based on a succession of studies showing the disease-prevention benefits resulting from
nutritional supplements.

We therefore consider that it would be a major step forward for global public health if the CCNFSDU were to finally accept and support the growing medical evidence that vitamin and mineral supplements prevent disease, promote optimum health and prolong lifespan.

We therefore propose the NRVs in this document as the minimum preventative intakes necessary to prevent disease, promote optimum health and prolong lifespan in the majority of people. We also strongly believe that it is the duty of the CCNFSDU to make recommendations that advance nutritional welfare, prevent disease, promote optimum health and prolong lifespan.

Paul Anthony Taylor
NHF Board Member & Codex Delegate

Further Information

Details of the recommendations including a list of the published references can be found on the NHF website –


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