That's why Germany classified garlic preparations in capsules as a medicinal product within the meaning of Directive 2001/83/EC on the Community code relating to medicinal products. The consequence of such a classification is that the product cannot be placed on the market without a marketing authorization which is granted after pharmacological tests have been carried out. And they probably can only be sold in pharmacies.
The Commission considered that the garlic preparations in question should not be classified as a "medicinal product" and that the consequence of that classification is to impose a burden on importers of the product in Germany amounting to a restriction on the free movement of goods contrary to Article 28 EC. Consequently, the Commission took Germany to Court.
And won. The Court of Justice held in Case C-319/05 Commission v. Germany that Germany had classified the product wrongly as a medicinal product thereby imposing a restriction on the free movement of goods prohibited by Article 28 EC.
The Court then turned to the question of whether the German measure was justified for reasons relating to the protection of public health in accordance with Article 30 EC. The Court held that there was no public health justification for such a measure.
The judgment examines how the public health exception works. It recalls that it is for the member States, in the absence of harmonization and to the extent that uncertainties continue to exist in the current state of scientific research, to decide on their intended level of protection of human health and life. The member States also decide on whether to require prior authorization for the marketing of foodstuffs but they must take into account the requirements of the free movement of goods within the EC (Case 174/82 Sandoz, paragraph 16, and Joined Cases C-158/04 and C-159/04 Alfa Vita Vassilipoulos and Carrefour-Marinopoulos, paragraph 21). When they exercise their discretion in taking measures to protect public health, the member States must comply with the principle of proportionality: They must confine their measures to what is actually necessary to ensure the safeguarding of public health; they must be proportional to the objective thus pursued, which could not have been attained by measures which are less restrictive of intra-EC trade (see Sandoz, paragraph 18, Case C-192/01 Commission v. Denmark, paragraph 45; and Case C-24/00 Commission v. France, paragraph 52).
In this case the Court found that Germany, instead of making the garlic pills subject to such an authorization procedure, could have prescribed suitable labelling to warn consumers of the potential risks related to taking this product. The protection of public health would thus have been ensured without such serious restrictions on the free movement of goods (see, to that effect, Case C-17/93 van der Veldt, paragraph 19).
Wondering why take garlic capsules when you can chew on the real thing ? The capsules are better if you want intimate moments with someone you are not yet intimate with. So a trip to the pharmacy is recommended in any event.