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A nasty taste

An opinion piece in today’s Telegraph alerts the readers:

A dangerous and disagreeable piece of legislation comes before the House of Lords today. In order to implement the EU’s directive on higher-dose vitamin supplements, the Government proposes to ban nearly 300 products currently on sale in our health stores.

The proscription of these vitamins is the first in a series of EU regulations dealing with alternative remedies. A second directive, covering herbal medicines, is already clanking its way through the machinery of state. There are proposals to regulate homoeopathy, and even to require a standard European qualification for herbalists (who, in England and Wales, have operated under a statute dating from Tudor times).

These restrictions are driven by something called “the precautionary principle”. The concept, emanating from Brussels and very popular with the EU types “holds that nothing should be legal until it can be shown to be safe”. In other words, it reverses the burden of proof.

The issue is not one of science, but of freedom. Here is a horrible demonstration of how the EU system can work, elevating corporate interests over individuals, and tossing aside all considerations of liberty and fairness in pursuit of harmonisation.

Voting against the legislation is, alas, only a gesture, since EU rules come into force automatically in Britain, but it is a gesture that should be made none the less.

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1 comment to A nasty taste

  • I wrote about the precautionary principle a while back. Basically, the idea is silly, and ultimately immoral. (If you could have done something that could have saved a life, and you don’t do it through excessive caution, you are just as culpible if you cause a death through excessive zeal). That said, I spend most of the post actually criticising an opponent of the precautionary principle who in my mind lacks balance the other way.