The proposed European Union ban on as many as 5,000 widelyused vitamin products has been declared illegal in theEuropean Court of Justice. The court’s main legal adviserhas declared the ban “invalid.”

According to an advocate-general at the European Court ofJustice, the ban would violate European Union principals oflegal protection.

The rules, advocated by the drug industry, were designed totighten controls over health foods and supplements, and drawthem into the general area of drug controls.

While supplements are already treated more like medicines inEurope, the proposed ban caused an enormous controversy inGreat Britain, where the British Healh Food ManufacturersAssociation, the Alliance for Natural Health and theNational Association of Health Food Stores all fought the ban.

Petitions were gathered containing more than a millionsignatures and a letter of protest was given to PrimeMinister Tony Blair signed by 300 doctors. There weremotions in both houses of Parliament opposing the directives.

In the United States, drug companies actively lobbied theFood and Drug Administration to adopt the same directives,but the FDA does not at present have any plans to do so.

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