American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) is pleased to announce that a critical decision was made by the European Commission and all because of our international affiliate, Alliance for Natural Health (ANH).

In 400 BC, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine told his students:

"Let thy flood be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food. Each one of the substances of a person's diet acts upon his body and changes it in some way, and upon these changes his whole life depends. "

In a stunning move, ANH received a letter from the European Commission (EC) signed by two heads of unit, which indicates clearly that all natural sources of vitamins and minerals, which could have been subject to a ban EU-wide, will escape the draconian EU Food Supplements Directive (FSD), and will now be regulated as foods.

This means that not only will natural sources be outside of the Directive (thereby escaping the bans); this new letter reverses the position of the EC's legal unit given to ANH in March 2006 and upholds their interpretation of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) 2005 ruling!!

In a strategic move in March 2007, the ANH made multiple submissions to the FSD Positive List. (The Positives list narrowly defines which supplement forms may be marketed in European Union nations; only forms appearing on the list can be sold.) The nutrients used for these submissions were chosen carefully to test the ECJ ruling on natural sources and include wheat germ oil as a source of full spectrum vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), palm oil as a source of vitamin E tocotrienols and palm fruits as a source of provitamin A mixed carotenoids.

The letter from Mr. Demetris Vryonides, Head of Unit "Legal Affairs" and Mr. Basil Mathioudakis, Head of Unit "Food, law, nutrition and labeling", states: "We consider that wheat germ oil can be used in food supplements without having to be authorised and included on Annex II of the Directive. For similar reasons the dossiers on mixed carotenoids, food derived folates, [and two proprietary palm blends containing carotenoids and tocotrienols respectively] will not be processed further."

Dr Robert Verkerk, ANH executive and scientific director, said "We are delighted to finally have this clarification from the European Commission on a point of law the ANH has been aware of since the ECJ ruling. The wider implications of this for the industry are far reaching and it effectively opens the door to functional foods and supplements containing nutrients derived from natural sources."

Note that ANH and their leader, Dr. Robert Verkerk has steadily maintained their position in the face of huge industry criticism and never lost faith in the legal opinion the ANH obtained after the ECJ ruling - even when the UK Secretary of State, the Head of Legal for the EC and most of the industry rejected the natural sources argument. ANH's mission statement is Good Science, Good Law and this win sums that up nicely.

AAHF feels that is a remarkable turn of events and will be of great relief for patients, practitioners, and consumers and is a vindication of the position that ANH has maintained throughout. It is now time to focus on the array of other regulatory challenges facing the natural health sector.

The ANH will continue to maintain scrutiny over the procedures used by the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority in the handling of the remaining dossiers submitted earlier this year. The ANH has drawn attention to significant problems in the scientific methods being used to determine maximum permitted levels of vitamins and minerals, an issue that is subject to impending EU law.

This is a huge victory that the global health freedom community has sorely needed. AAHF is pleased to support ANH in their efforts. Funds are still desperately needed to finish paying for their extensive (and now successful) legal battle.