HC Deb 09 June 1999 vol 332 c758 10.53 pm
Valerie Davey (Bristol, West)

As sometimes happens in this House, we go from a matter of international magnitude to one of national and local detail.

I am pleased to present the petition of the Health Food Manufacturers Association on behalf of 1,780 petitioners who live in Bristol, West and/or use one of the excellent health food stores in the constituency.

The petition declares: Government proposals would give the Medicines Control Agency virtually unlimited powers to classify safe products as medicines. This would mean that the MCA could remove at a stroke products that are vital to the good health of many consumers and are currently sold under food law. This is an abuse of the democratic process and a denial of freedom of choice. The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Department of Health to reconsider the proposals and to introduce an immediate moratorium preventing the MCA from declaring these safe products to be medicines except on the grounds of illegal claims or safety and, further, to introduce new legislation appropriate to the special needs of safe, natural health products. And the petitioners remain, etc. To lie upon the Table.

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