Regulatory Resources

Food Supplements

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The primary legislation relating to food supplements is the EC Food Supplements Directive (Directive 2002/46/EC), implemented in the UK by the Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003; separate similar legislation is in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which is appropriate for these administrations. All foods, including food supplements, are also subject to the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (2014).

The Food Supplements Directive lists the vitamins and minerals which are permitted for use in food supplements. The safety of the substances on the list has been assessed and approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The lists have been consolidated into Regulation 1170/2011 which has annexes for the vitamins and minerals which are permitted for use in food supplements and fortified foods. Other substances such as essential fatty acids, amino acids or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect are also permitted for use in food supplements. The Food Supplements Directive includes the intention to establish maximum and minimum levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements. The European Commission has not yet begun this work and currently the UK industry works to the safe upper levels established by the 2003 report by the Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals and the EU Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) of vitamins and minerals which are set under the Food Information for Consumers Regulation.

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