An Open Letter to Health Minister Alan Milburn: You will be aware the European Union is currently planning to ban many dietary supplements.

In two years' time, it may be illegal to sell products containing more than the recommended daily amounts (RDAs) of vitamins and minerals.

Should we care? Yes, for the pitifully low RDAs were established more than 50 years ago and don't take into account specific needs such as genetic make-up, sex, age, levels of stress and activity, alcohol or nicotine consumption, pollution, the use of prescription medications, pregnancy and menopause.

Furthermore, studies published in The Lancet and other medical journals confirm that antioxidants protect against life-threatening degenerative conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

They are more useful to us now than ever before because our food may no longer contain sufficient amounts.

We are also more at risk from pollution and radiation and therefore require increasing antioxidant protection.

So, how can it make sense to ban vitamins and minerals?

Health experts tell us we receive all the nourishment we need from five helpings of fruit and vegetables per day.

However, levels of nutrients in common vegetables have seriously declined over the past 60 years. And how much betacarotene does a carrot contain after growing on mineral-deficient soil and being stored in a warehouse for several months?

To make matters worse, it may contain high pesticide residues. Some carrot samples reveal pesticide levels 25 times higher than acceptable.

Sadly, mankind can no longer rely solely on food.

Apart from organic food, science-based natural health methods are of great value for our future health care.

Dr Matthias Rath is a doctor and scientist whose research has proved a direct link between chronic vitamin deficiency and the development of common degenerative diseases.

His publications about the natural prevention and treatment of arteriosclerosis (the condition underlying heart attacks and strokes) have appeared in the most reputable scientific journals.

His book Why Animals Don't Get Heart Attacks, But People Do has become a bestseller.

Dr Rath is also a vehement critic of the pharmaceutical industry's billion-pound, worldwide market.

He claims the pharmaceuticals are trying to preserve their so-called "trade in disease" by undermining the competition posed by natural alternatives free of side-effects.

He even goes so far as to say the pharmaceutical industry, the most powerful industrial sector in the world, is attempting via the UN and European Parliament to force through legislation that will effectively ban vital vitamin therapies and natural treatments.

Dr Rath has written an open letter to the EU in protest against the ban and started a worldwide online campaign (

It appears the European Union's Directive on Dietary Supplements denies us the basic right to optimal health.

I sincerely hope you can bring these concerns to the attention of the EU Council of Ministers and prevent them from unnecessarily putting our wellbeing and that of future generations at risk.