Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Compulsory vitamin supply and Petition ELIANT

For the text below alone I find it already worth to support the Campaign ELIANT: in support of Applied Anthroposophy in Europe.

EU legislation has led to synthetic vitamins being added to biodynamic infant foods.

In 1996 the EU passed a guideline regulating cereal first foods for babies and infants. This determines the requirements for food constituents used during the weaning period of infants. The guideline prescribes Vitamin B1 contents of at least 25 µg/100 kJ in cereal mash or baby bottles. This minimum level is set so high that it cannot even be achieved in a full-grain product diluted with milk. In contrast to this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the FAO believe that substantially lower levels are wholly sufficient. In the Codex Alimentarius they recommend minimum Vitamin B1 contents of only 12,5 µg/100 kJ. As opposed to the excessively high minimum level in the EU guideline, the Vitamin B1 level in the Codex Alimentarius can be achieved without the addition of synthetic vitamins to cereal first foods.This excessive Vitamin B1 content stipulated by the EU first-foods guideline means that producers of baby and infant foods manufactured under the biodynamic guidelines of the Demeter cultivators association, are forced to add vitamins to their products. This “compulsory vitamin supplementation” conflicts with the aims and approach inherent in ecologically produced and processed products. The consumers of organic and biodynamic products expect these to be produced naturally and processed in an eco-friendly way. Above all, they should not contain additives that do not naturally belong to them. So far all efforts by Demeter International have failed to persuade the European Commission (SANCO general directorship) to undertake a review of guideline 96/5/EC so as to do justice to the needs of the consumers of organic/biodynamic products. In response to all enquiries the Commission has entrenched itself in the position that its scientific committee for foodstuffs has set the minimum vitamin levels after full consultation, and that no new scientific findings have come to light that might allow a revision of the guideline.Demeter has a different view. The fact that Codex Alimentarius regards a much lower level as sufficient is also based on scientific investigations. Nor is Demeter advocating abolition of the guideline, but is asking for a labelling regulation: products with artificial supplementation should be advertised and distinguishable as such. Demeter disputes the view that EU citizens are not adult enough to regulate their own diet and that their consumption must therefore be “compulsorily enhanced”. Demeter also regards this as being in conflict with the image of the self-determining human being that underpins the EU’s philosophy. Freedom of choice, at least, should be preserved.

Since previous lobby work has shown that polite and objectively-founded enquiries do not impress the Commission, we need to strengthen our publicity work in Brussels. The Brussels office of Demeter International will try, along with affected producers, to gain the support and partnership of the European Consumers Protection Association (BEUC). If this succeeds, we aim to hold round-table discussions on the theme of “Food safety, vitamin supplementation and consumer freedom of choice” in Brussels in mid-September 2007, and will invite the SANCO general directorate to attend. ELIANT’s participation and support is of prime importance for this initiative. The aim of publicity work and the conference must be to persuade SANCO to reflect seriously on reviewing guideline 96/5/EG, and to put this review on its agenda as early, if possible, as 2008/2009.

Text taken from the ELIANT website, emphasis added to the especially LUCID conclusion. :)

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