Dirty tricks and misinformation.

Nov. 2012. The latest incident of misinformation is from the EHTPA (European Herbal and Traditional Practitioners Association) an unrepresentative interest group set up to promote academic style education of therapists and to lobby the EU and the UK Governments for statutory regulation. In the poster for their November 2012 conference there is an entry for the UKs HPC (Heath Protection Council) stating "The HPC is now responsible for regulating herbal practitioners using Section 12.1 of the 1968 Medicines Act". This statement is untrue but gives those who do not know, the impression that regulation is a done deal which it is not. The error has been bought to the attention of the HPC yet it has still not been corrected.

You may find it interesting, how the pro regulation lobby has mounted a massive media campaign - much of which is extremely misleading. They are using dirty tricks by using titles such as "Save Our Herbs" when their lobby is really about getting their members statutory regulation. Below is an example where as soon as the anti regulation lobby set up a web site, within a couple of months, the pro lobby had set up a site with almost the same name. Their site is misleading giving the impression that without regulation we will no longer be able to access herbal medicine. That is contrary to The Treaty of Rome and Humans Rights Act where there are many clauses protecting traditional rights in member countries. It also fails to distinguish clearly between the two separate issues of:
1. Herbal product regulation.
2. Herbal practitioner regulation.

Another example of the misleading nature of the saveourherbs.co.uk website is in the way they put huge emphasis on their media and lobbying campaign. Similar activities were held some years at Parliament when a tiny group of individuals were attempting to merge the IFA with the old ISPA without the agreement of their members. Everything was made to look like a done deal when it was far from it. In this case, we understand that when put to NIMH members, only 28% were in favour of this form of regulation. Fooling politicians and the media is a common practice among unscrupulous individuals and groups.

Nowhere on saveourherbs.co.uk do you see any mention that the restrictions that the MHRA may, or already have, put on herbs are of questionable legality under two major European Treaties. Eurocrats are constantly ignoring fundamental EU treaties and forcing laws on members countries which the countries then rubber stamp. It seems the pro lobby do not even want to challenge the legality of what the UK Government may do. Of course not, it would prevent the unnecessary changes to our historical rights that the pro lobby want.

The fundamental Treaties which all EU member countries are signatory to, seem to have been ignored by the European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA) which via their Chairman Michael McIntyre, have been the main driving force over UK Statutory regulation. They use scare tactics such as: "In late 1994, the basis of herbal practice in the UK was threatened by the sudden announcement by the Medicines Control Agency (now the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency - MHRA) that existing European medicines legislation had swept away all those statutes in the Medicines Act 1968 that gave British herbal practitioners their legal right to obtain herbal medicines." The legality under EU laws of that claim has never been challenged.

The EHTPA by taking into membership organisations that do not practise pure herbal medicine - involving only the use only of botanical materials - seems on the face of it to have deliberately attempted to bulk out its membership by spreading its wings to other therapies. That is one of the reasons for the confusion over the herbal regulation issues in the UK. The failure to differentiate between the UK tradition of herbal medicine, and the numerous other mainly imported therapies that do not use just herbs, has led to all traditional therapies being put into the same melting pot. Our fight is against those who wish to throw away the Henry the 8th Act which applied only to pure herbal medicine.

The EHTPA also claim; "The prime purpose of professional regulation is public protection." Yet another misleading statement to try and fool and scare readers into their lobby. Professional regulation has never and will never protect the public against those who decide to take the criminal path. You can expel a Doctor from the general register, yet they can go away and set up in private practice. You cannot remove their qualification but that is exactly what the Statutory regulation lobby are attempting to do to non registered therapists by removing the title they can call themselves.

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) is one herbal organisation that has lost many members over the years. Some members have refused to go along with some of their leaders who have been pressing for Statutory regulation. Others have left because they cannot make a living at herbal medicine, others because they disliked the way that organisation has conducted its affairs.

Some of the leading lights behind the regulatory campaign are University graduates who believe that only that mode of education has any credibility. It is just that crazy concept which left the UK seriously short of skilled building trades people and will certainly lead to a reduction of true traditional herbalists.

This snippet of the history of the NIMH is simply to illustrate that individuals with highly questionable ethics, will be represented on the new regulatory organisations, but with far more power.

Other organisations in the Pro lobby such as The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy have a tiny membership, most of whom are ALSO members of the NIMH. Therefore, when these organisations maintained to Government that they represented the trade, it must be asked what numbers they are using, did they remove the duplicated names?

Domain name: saveourherbs.org.uk    The original

Registrant: Name

Registrant type: UK Individual

Registrant's address:
Woking, SRY
United Kingdom

1 & 1 Internet AG [Tag = SCHLUND]
URL: http://registrar.1und1.info Relevant dates:

Registered on: 10-Aug-2009
Renewal date: 10-Aug-2011
Registration status: Registered until renewal date.

Name servers:

Domain name: saveourherbs.co.uk    The simulated one

Registrant: Save Our Herbs

Registrant type: UK Individual

Registrant's address:
The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their address omitted from the WHOIS service.

Webfusion Ltd t/a 123-Reg.co.uk [Tag = 123-REG]
URL: http://www.123-reg.co.uk

Relevant dates: Registered on: 31-Oct-2009
Renewal date: 31-Oct-2011
Last updated: 01-Nov-2009

Registration status: Registered until renewal date.

Name servers: