Fortified Breakfast Cereals Case Study

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The Danish Ban on Fortified Breakfast Cereals Case 192/01 Commission of the European Communities versus Kingdom of Denmark

Introduction

In 2004, the Danish Authorities banned the sale of over 18 fortified breakfast cereals and cereal bars manufactured by Kellogg’s on the basis that higher levels of vitamins and minerals could cause Danish consumers to exceed upper tolerable levels of nutrients in their diet. This could potentially have a detrimental effect on kidneys and the lives of children and pregnant women.

The Danish Diet

It is proposed that about 28% of children and 26% of adults in Denmark consume a supplemental vitamin pill on a daily basis annually, while another 28% and 12% respectively take supplements in the winter season according to most recent dietary survey data 2000-2002. This indicates that a large
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According to the Commission, the Danish Administrative Practice constituted a violation of Article 28 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community (Treaty), which prohibits quantitative trade barriers. However, the Danish Authorities argued that according to Article 30, a trade restriction is tolerated if the prohibition is found to protect population health.

The Commission disputed that Article 30 was inapplicable to the Danish situation and that in order for trade interference to be justified under Article 30, Denmark would have to define how the fortified product was a threat to public health. To support its argument Denmark stated that a lack of scientific knowledge existed on the upper limits of dietary intake and the precise effects of vitamin consumption at an individual level. Moreover, it was next to impossible to monitor individual consumer intakes of vitamin

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