HC Deb 21 June 2004 vol 422 c1277W
Mrs. Iris Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the benefits of methylsulfonylmethane for arthritis symptoms. [179113]

Dr. Ladyman

The Food Standards Agency has not made any assessment of the benefits of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) for arthritis symptoms.

In the United Kingdom, MSM is sold in dietary supplements marketed under food law. Food supplements, like other foods, are not required to demonstrate their efficacy before marketing, nor are they subject to prior approval unless they are genetically modified or novel as defined in Regulation (EC) 258/97 on novel foods and novel food ingredients.

Food supplements are, however, subject to the general provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Labelling Regulations 1996. The Food Safety Act makes it an offence to sell food that is falsely or misleadingly described or labelled. The Food Labelling Regulations prohibit any food, including a food supplement. from making a claim that it has the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease or any reference, on the label, to such a property.

Forward to