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A New Front Opens in the Battle to Protect Health Choice in the US

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In new trade talks between the US and the European Union, we need to make sure "harmonization" doesn't make our supplement laws like theirs. Action Alert!

Last March, the Obama Administration announced its intention to enter into Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the European Union (EU) to increase trade and investment between the two regions. The two sides are in the very preliminary stages of a process that is expected to take two years, and are beginning their second round of negotiations on October 7 in Brussels.

According to the White House fact sheet, the goal of the negotiations is to boost economic growth in the US and EU, and increase jobs supported by transatlantic trade and investment. One of their stated aims is to reduce costly "behind the border" non-tariff barriers that impede the flow of goods, including agricultural goods.

ANH-USA will closely monitor the process, to protect the interests of natural health consumers here in the US. We do not want to see a threat develop to our access to a wide range of higher-dose supplements or to legitimate health claims on products.

As we have reported numerous times, (here, here, and here), Europeans have such restrictive laws regulating supplements that much of what we take for granted here in the US is completely unavailable to them. A worst-case outcome from these trade talks would be for US laws to be aligned more closely with those of the EU. Since the goal of the TTIP is to increase trade and investment between the two regions, this would be highly illogical: trade can hardly increase if products are banned! But no one should expect logic from these negotiations, especially if powerful agencies like the FDA and FTC see them as an opportunity to get more of what they want, which is protection for US drugs.