HC Deb 03 December 2003 vol 415 cc76-7W
Mr. Stunell:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the EU meetings held in 2003 which (a) Ministers and (b) officials from the Department have attended where the maximum permitted level of nutrients in food supplements was discussed; and if he will make a statement. [141411]

Miss Melanie Johnson:

The European Commission has not yet made a proposal listing European Union maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements and we do not expect it to do so for another two to three years. There have been no EU meetings dedicated to the discussion of these levels in 2003.

Until discussions on a formal proposal begin, the United Kingdom will continue to take every opportunity to press its view that maximum levels should be set on a safety basis. To this end, the UK is using its influence in both scientific and political forums. In 2003, Food Standards Agency officials attended two scientific meetings at which maximum permitted levels were discussed in the context of risk assessment and the UK approach was clearly stated on both occasions.

I intend to raise this issue with Ministers in other member states as and when appropriate, although no specific discussions have taken place in 2003. I am also seeking to arrange a meeting with Commissioner David Byrne at the earliest practical opportunity.

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