The argument that modern food is just a shadow of what it was 50 years ago, because of the way it is produced, is one of many points made by those that will have their daily vitamins banned by the European Food Supplements Directive, which comes into force at midnight on July 31. After that date, your local health food shop will not be allowed to sell tablets containing selenium yeast, boron, chromium picolinate and a further 300 nutrients that thousands of people find helps them lead a healthier life. This is a European Union directive that our government has agreed to. It has created a ‘Positive List’, a list of vitamins and food supplements determined to be safe to sell to the public. Nutrients not listed can continue to be used until 2009 – provided safety dossiers are submitted to the European Food Standards Agency by July 2005. However the cost of compiling these dossiers is estimated to be in the region of £250,000 per substance. An estimated 5,000 supplements have been excluded from the ‘Positive List’ because they have not been assessed by the EU, even though under the UK Food Safety Act they are considered safe products. At around £250K to get on the ‘Positive List’ it’s not rocket science to figure out what size companies can benefit. Perhaps we should run a sweepstake on how many parliamentary hours might be needed to debate laws to prevent the next crime wave – vitamin and supplement smuggling.