tricks and misinformation.
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
1. Herbal product regulation.
2. Herbal practitioner regulation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?