The directive has two aims: firstly to harmonise national legal provisions on food supplements and secondly to establish an appropriate level of consumer protection for the use of food supplements in EU Member States. At first reading Parliament adopted amendments calling for ingredients such as amino acids, fatty acids and herbal extracts to be brought within the scope of the directive, for the labelling of products covered by the directive to always include the words 'food supplement' and for a range of warnings to be included.
Council incorporated most of these points in its common position. In addition, account was taken of Parliament's position regarding substances omitted from the proposed directive, and an inspection mechanism over a period of five years was proposed.
This draft recommendation (codecision, second reading) is scheduled for plenary debate at the March session in Strasbourg.
N.B. The rapporteur and several members of the committee complained of having been bombarded with emails on this subject from lobbyists, whose activities they felt had been far too intrusive - and indeed counterproductive - in this particular case.