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The EU market for food supplements containing vitamins and minerals is regulated by Directive 2002/46/EC, known as the Food Supplements Directive. UK Governments have broadly supported the Directive’s intentions in ensuring public safety and reducing barriers to trade but have been subject to intense lobbying by supplement manufacturers and the public, particularly regarding future availability of high dose supplements and potential impacts on the profitability of suppliers. Current controversy centres mainly on the issue of maximum permitted levels, which successive UK governments have argued should be based on risk of harm. They have also argued that regulation should be flexible for vitamins and minerals for which there is no evidence of adverse effects. Although a draft proposal on permitted levels was expected in early 2009, its finalisation and publication have been repeatedly delayed and negotiations on this matter continue.


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