The advice states that the level of vitamin B6 in dietary supplements should not exceed more than 10 milligrams per daily dose. The Committee also advised that such supplements should carry a warning label about the risk of harmful effects at intakes above 10 milligrams per day.
Vitamin B6, taken at high levels over a prolonged period of time may cause nerve damage leading to symptons such as pins and needle, numbness and clumsiness.
Responding the Committee's advice, Food Safety Minister Jeff Rooker said:
"I am grateful to the independent Food Advisory Committee for their advice. Vitamin B6 is an essential component of people's diets. But, like many things, too much can be harmful. The Government is committed to taking appropriate action in the public interest when this is justified on public health grounds.
"The Food Advisory Committee and the Department of Health's Committee on Toxicity have looked at this issue very carefully. Their advice on dietary supplements containing vitamin B6 is clear, and justifies action. Acting on this advice, I have instructed my officials to draw up legislation under the Food Safety Act 1990 to control these products."
The FAC's advice applies only to supplements sold under food law. Those licensed as medicines for the treatment of specific clinical conditions are being considered seperately.