UK public have sensibly decided to get us out of the EU. This
vote will not make any short term difference to our herb trade
which the EU regulations almost destroyed. UK laws will need to
be revised to determine which parts of the EU regulations will
need keeping and which not. Doubtless our Civil Servants - especially
in the Department of Heath - will want to retain as much as they
can. This will clearly take some time but it does put a stop to
any new crazy regulations from the EU. As important is hopefully
it will put an end to the gravy chain of the so called "expert
advisors" making a fortune out of their advisory positions
in EU committees.
herb and allied trades suffered badly under EU regulation. The producers
and suppliers mainly consisted of small independent family businesses.
They could not afford the huge amounts of money needed to comply
with ridiculous EU regulations. The result was they closed down
or moved overseas. Some small businesses were threatened by our
Medicines agency (MHRA) for breaching EU regulations. Result they
shut down in England and moved to Spain or France where the regulations
were not enforced. The annoying issue is that the UK Government
departments initiated EU regulations whereas other EU countries
just ignored them. That is totally opposite to what the EU is supposed
to be about which is common trading regulations allowing free trade
between member countries.
Despite a new Government coming into power this month the threat
of regulation remains. Civil Servants laid down plans years ago
and will utilize those when politically expedient. A potential
problem now is that this new Government can vote through legislation
unless other parties oppose it. Since we know that the Medicines
Control Agency is desperate to destroy Herbal Medicine, their
lobby activities will continue as will the lobby activities of
the unrepresentative pro lobby herbalists. Since the leader of
that group happens to live in the same constituency as the Prime
Minister, watch this space!!
MHRA are absolutely determined to put all small herbal suppliers
out of business. This agency and their staff (who are under
the thumb of the pharmaceutical lobby), are now saying that "perceived
knowledge" of the activity of a constituent in a formula
is sufficient for it to be classified as having medicinal activity
and therefore must be submitted for a license application. This
is taking EU legislation to the limit, legislation that the EU
medicines agency itself admits is flawed, but our MHRA choose
to institute it in full. See their statement below.
"Milk Thistle Standardised Extract 100mg Badham
The product fell within both limbs of the definition of a medicinal
product. The first limb was satisfied due to the familiarity
of the averagely well informed consumer with the current day and
long traditional uses of the herb Milk thistle in medicine,
and the extensive published information on the herb's uses.
Arguments for use of products containing this herb for another
purpose would not be tenable. The second limb was satisfied
due to the well known and documented pharmacological properties
of the herb which has been used to treat a variety of adverse
medical conditions, in particular hepatic complaints. Products
containing this herb require authorisation before being placed
on the UK market. The MHRA takes the view that the erroneous labelling
of a herbal medicinal product as a food or dietary supplement
is unacceptable and may mislead consumers. Such mislabelling does
not alter the correct legal classification".
2012: The replacement for the 1968 Medicines Act
and its many amendments has been enacted. It is the Human Medicines
Regulation Act 2012. As is usual with the senior civil servants,
they make sweeping claims about how this act consolidates previous
legislation as well as incorporating EU directives. In reality,
this act is another nail in the coffin of herbal medicine which
is exactly what their masters in the pharmaceutical trades have
wanted for years. Even our MPs and Ministers have had the wool
pulled over their eyes by the civil servants and the regulation
vast majority of smaller herb suppliers will be forced out of
business due to the requirements for selling them with product
licenses. The requirements for submitting chemical and other data
on herbs cannot possibly be met by small suppliers. It
is all designed to kill this historical aspect of our heath care
and increase our reliance on the pharmaceutical drugs that kill
thousands each year.
report on the activities of the MHRA in regard to the PIP breast
implants issues has just been published. While it clears the MHRA
on the quality control issues of the implants, it makes many recommendations
as to how they should improve their systems. Many people over
many years have accused the MHRA and its predecessor of not being
'fit for purpose'. While this report does not state that, it clearly
indicates an organisation that are incompetent and in my opinion
need major reforms, or better, their necessary activities such
as the control of fake drugs given to agencies better equipped
to handle such vital aspects of our health care. While this
may not seem relevant to the herb issues, it is because this same
agency are hell bent on destroying the UK herb industry, yet are
clearly incompetent at managing routine health systems let alone
2012: There was a
page on a Government
website where you could post comments about the Traditional
Herbal Medicines Regulations. It has now been restricted after
just 206 comments and emails asking why it has been restricted
are ignored. That makes one wonder if all these Government comment
sites are just a sop to make it look like they consider what people
have to say.
The Government have announced that "The Health Professions
Council (HPC) has now been asked to establish a statutory register
for practitioners supplying unlicensed herbal medicines......A
formal consultation exercise will take place on specific legislative
proposals for establishing the register and proposed reforms of
medicines legislation later in 2011".
announcement is being taken by the pro regulation lobby as meaning
statutory regulation is a done deal. It
is not and gives more time to those of us opposing the
Civil Servants who advise the Minister, have chosen to ignore
all opposition to this legislation; ignored the comments of a
Judge over the competency of the HPC and ignored the huge question
marks over the legality of EU directives in the UK. Instead, a
marketing company engaged by the pro lobby, have lobbied MPs and
Civil Servants to accepting their arguments. Where the money to
pay that company came from is a mystery.
watch this space, the battle is not lost.
2010: The Department of Health
have advised "All GPs to recommend patients who are seeking
complementary therapies to consult with practitioners who are
registered with the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council
(CNHC), where it registers the professional discipline concerned".
are doubts about the ability of this newly established organisation
to administer such a scheme at this stage. It is so new, that
only recently have their accounts been lodged with companies house.
They had funding of over half a million
Pounds from the Dept. of Health with just £19,000
from registration and application fees. Following the closure
of the Foundation for Integrated Health, one would think the Dept.
of Health would be a bit more cautious where they throw public
money. Be nice to know who in the Dept. of Health makes such decisions
and based on what?
Civil Servants in the Medicines division of the Dept of Health
continue churning out their so called "consultation documents"
which are targeted at further unjustified restrictions on herbal
medicine. These consultation documents always go to a huge circulation
list of medical and scientific institutions and individuals with
little interest in the subject matter, yet the traditional practitioners
who will be affected get a few listings and often only to unrepresentative
trade associations. Their whole consultation process is a sick
joke and these people will simply do what they wanted in the first
place and then claim to Ministers that they made "wide consultations".
in the proposals on Herbalist regulation are there clear definitions
of what will be considered an "herbal practitioner".
the EU definition of a 'medicinal product' is used as a basis,
then anyone suggesting another person have a cup of peppermint
tea for a stomach upset could be accused of "practising herbal
medicine". Such ridiculous scenarios
could cover Millions of the population who have used plants in
one form or another to treat ailments. It gives the MHRA total
freedom to interpret these proposed laws any way they chose, that
is contrary to all democratic procedures.
prior to Parliament being dissolved, the Health Minister made
a statement that
"he was minded" to have herbalists
registered, but without full statutory regulation. The
announcement does not mean anything will go ahead. The big problem
is that the Civil Servants who advise the Minister have been led
by their noses by the small number of activists within the pro
lobby. The primary argument used for regulation is that it will
protect the public. IT WILL NOT and there is absolutely no statistical
data to support that argument. Even the MHRA cannot produce more
than a handful of cases over the last 20 years of harm caused
by unregistered herbalists. Instead, what
he have, is politicians being manipulated by media hysteria and
vested trade interests. Even letters to members of Parliament
come back with the same fallacious statements of "protecting
the announcement by the previous administration, some pro lobby
web sites are claiming that the Minister announced Statutory Regulation.
This is a LIE to fool their supporters. You will see that statement
on the web site of The Foundation for Integrative Medicine - the
charity that has announced its closure following an investigation
by the Charity Commission, and whom the driving forces behind
Statutory regulation strongly supported.
also the new page: