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Food Supplements

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.

The 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 es da de el fr it nl pt fi sv 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 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.

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