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Editorial Issue 111

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 111 - May 2005

I have been extremely apprehensive about what the best voting options would be at the general election on 5 May regarding the EU Supplement and Herbal Medicines Directive.

So, imagine my surprise and delight at the Landmark Opinion at the European Court in Luxembourg at the legal challenge brought by the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), in their David and Goliath case arguing that the EU Supplement Directive was unduly restrictive and based upon flawed science. Read the full details on the letters pages 53-54.

"The Advocate General in the European Court in Luxembourg concluded that:

• The Food Supplements Directive infringes the principle of proportionality because basic principles of Community law, such as the requirements of legal protection, of legal certainty and of sound administration have not properly been taken into account;
• It is therefore invalid under EU law.

"However it must be remembered that the Advocate General's pronouncement is not a ruling. That will come from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) judges, later – probably around June. But typically, in the vast majority of cases, the Court Judgement follows the recommendations of the Advocate General.

If the Advocate General's recommendations are adopted, in effect, the ban on vitamin and mineral forms not included on the EU's 'Positive list,' due to come into effect on 1 August 2005, will be declared illegal. In essence, the positive list of allowable nutrient forms will be deemed to be too narrow, too restrictive, and based on flawed science."

Thus we the British people have been granted the prospect of a reprieve from the passage of an unjust and draconian law which would severely limit our choice of nutritional supplements and perhaps deny us natural, side-effect-free valuable options to protect our health and use nutritional and herbal approaches for serious and possibly fatal illnesses.

This is definitely good news; however there is absolutely no room for complacency, because, even if the EU Supplement Directive is declared illegal, there are still issues regarding maximum supplement dosages for vitamins and minerals, as well as contentious issues regarding health claims of foods.

It is so deliciously ironic that on the very same day that the above ruling about the EU Supplement Directive came down from the European Court in Luxembourg, another prominent news headline from a Parliamentary Select Committee was that pharmaceutical drugs and medicines are the fifth highest cause of death in the UK, and that the pharmaceutical industry is being driven more by overzealous marketing than by clinically judicious concerns. Amen! On this subject, I cannot recommend highly enough the book Overdo$sed America by Dr John Abramson MD reviewed in this issue (see page 55). This title highlights the cavalier and often irresponsible manner in which certain players in the drug game handle clinical trial data and patient health.

One horror story featured on television that same day was of a woman prescribed the painkiller Vioxx for her arthritis, who suffered a number of heart attacks and stroke and who went blind. Vioxx, which has now been withdrawn, is one of the drugs highlighted in Overdo$ed America. This mismanaged research is truly shocking; however, we have reported similar sordid tales regarding The Cholesterol Myths by Dr Uffe Ravnskov ( and how research about the relationship between cholesterol, heart attacks, statins and other drugs have been misrepresented by the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry for almost 5 decades.

Hence our objective of trying to use safer means to treat illness including nutritional and herbal medicines, which were about to be poured down the drain in the guise of the EU Supplement Directive. Whatever your knowledge about the efficacy of nutritional supplements, there are certainly not masses of people dying from naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.

In fact, in this very issue of Positive Health are two highly authoritative and scientifically solid features regarding the application of nutritional and herbal approaches for Leaky Gut (see Natural Approaches to Leaky Gut by Neil Wootten page 30) and Optimum Mental Function (see Nutrition and the Brain by Dr Charles Krebs PhD page 34).

There is no shortage of research and quality clinical information regarding nutritional, herbal and other non-drug approaches to achieve and maintain optimum health; just what do we have to do to get the attention these important findings deserve.

Congratulations and well-done to the ANH for their hard work, determination and risk-taking. The majority of us within the complementary healthcare fraternity are far too busy most of the time to spend our lives fighting David and Goliath battles. We owe the ANH a mighty thank you, and we need to keep the pressure up to make sure that there is no backsliding regarding the future safety of nutritional and herbal supplements in the UK. Support the ANH –


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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