Food Law News - EU - 2000
11 January 2000: PARNUTS - Austrian controls on vitamin-enriched products - the Commission brings infringement proceedings
Commission Press Release (IP/00/12), 11 January 2000
Austrian controls on vitamin-enriched products - the Commission brings infringement proceedings
The Commission has decided to bring an action before the Court of Justice on the grounds that Austria places obstacles in the way of the marketing of vitamin-enriched food supplements from other Member States. Because of the vitamin content of these products, Austria classifies some food supplements as medicinal products. This means that the products must be subject to the authorisation procedure, which is both long and costly. Thus, products legally marketed in other Member States cannot be put on the Austrian market.
The Commission feels that systematically applying a purely quantitative criterion (once the daily recommended intake) to classify an enriched supplement as a medical product does not allow either for the differences between the various types of vitamins or for the different risk levels of excessive consumption. The rules would be less restrictive if they set a value limit for each vitamin beyond which a preparation containing the vitamin would be considered a medicinal product.
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