Food supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with
a nutritional or physiological effect whose purpose is to supplement the intake of nutrients in the normal
diet. They are marketed 'in dose' form i.e. as pills, tablets, capsules, liquids in measured doses etc.
Directive 2002/46/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 10 June 2002 on the approximation
of the laws of Member States relating to food supplements
establishes harmonised rules for the labelling of food supplements and introduces specific rules on vitamins
and minerals in food supplements. The aim is to harmonise the legislation and to ensure that these products
are safe and appropriately labelled so that consumers can make informed choices.
Levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements
The Scientific Committee on Food has
been asked to review the upper levels of daily intakes of
individual vitamins and minerals that are not likely to have
adverse effects on health. The
Opinions on individual nutrients
have been expressed by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF). Since the end of April 2003
the European Food Safety Authority has been responsible for
providing scientific advice and their opinions are published
on their own website (see
www.efsa.eu.int). On the basis of
these scientific opinions upper levels and other criteria
defined in the above Directive the maximum levels of vitamins
and minerals in food supplements will be set.