EU labelling rules for medications discriminate against vegans and vegetarians, a Czech pirate party MEP has claimed. (Rimu Ahamed / 500px)


EU medication rules discriminate against vegans, MEP claims


European Union labelling rules for medicines discriminate against vegans and vegetarians, a Czech Pirate Party MEP has claimed.

Markéta Gregorová, who also serves as a member of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, specifically lashed out at the EU’s labelling laws in response to a submitted European Commission question.

“The European Medicines Agency determines the information requirements for medication labels. However, the manufacturer cannot add any additional information,” she wrote.

“This is an issue for those following a plant-based lifestyle and for those who are allergic to animal-derived ingredients, as they are prevented from making an informed choice about what medicine they take.

“It could have health consequences for people with allergies and is discriminatory towards vegetarians and vegans,” the MEP went on to claim, asking the EC whether it was willing to “advocate for the proper labelling of medication”.

She also asked if the body had a “plan to ensure that vegans, vegetarians and people with allergies” have access to so-called “suitable options” when choosing what medicines to take.

Responding to the query, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides defended the medicine labelling rules, insisting that all that needed to be listed was already included on drugs officially distributed within the EU.

“The qualitative and quantitative composition in terms of the active substance[s] and excipients [non-active medicinal additives], knowledge of which are essential for proper administration of the medicinal product, are included in the product information,” the senior Eurocrat wrote.

“This includes all excipients, which are present in the product, even those present in small amounts.

“Where necessary, possible risks of adverse reactions including allergic reactions are highlighted in the labelling,” she added, noting that no labelling on medicine was permitted regarding “dietary preferences”.

Kyriakides went on to say that she foresaw “no changes” being made to the rules enforced for medications labelling within the EU.