The announcement by the Thailand Ministry of Public Health sets higher maximum Recommended Daily Intakes of 100 mg for vitamin B1, 40 mg for vitamin B2, 600 mcg for vitamin B12, 900 mcg for biotin, 1,000 mg for vitamin C, and 15 mcg for vitamin D. These levels are significantly higher than what was previously permitted in the country. While the maximum level for nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) has at the same time been lowered to 15 mg, overall the Thai authorities would appear to be moving towards a more liberal regulatory approach to the regulation of supplements.
Thailand’s setting of higher maximum levels for some nutrients stands in contrast to what is currently happening in Europe. For decades now, the so-called European Union (EU) has been attempting to enforce draconian restrictions on nutrient levels in supplements across the entire European continent. The first steps towards this came with the passing of the Food Supplements Directive in 2002, a piece of legislation which enacted strict controls on the types of vitamins and minerals that can be contained in products available in Europe.
Two years later the EU was highly influential in the passing of a similar text at the global level by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CODEX). A United Nations organization that is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the texts produced by CODEX are used by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in its adjudication of international trade disputes involving foods. As a result, they are also influential when governments are setting national legislation.
To learn more about the EU’s dangerous plan to set restrictive maximum levels for nutrients permitted in supplements, see this article on our website.