Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Many herbs to be illegal in the European Union

I am watching carefully what is happening in the European Union with their Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD).  I am watching this knowing that officials in our government have tried to similarly make herbs and vitamin/mineral supplements illegal in our country except by prescription. They have attempted this more than once in our countries past. Indeed that last time was the early 90's when I was one of the many people who fought the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act that started as a way for Big Pharma to control herbs and nutrients in the general market by making them prescription only &/or putting other limits on them.  Even if you don't know much about the act, you know the public won the right to continue purchasing herbs and nutrients without prescriptions and still enjoys this right today. We only have this right today as many of us were outraged and did something about it. However, they are still lurking and still planning some way to convince the public that for their own protection herbs and nutrients should be regulated and only prescribed by licensed practitioners. If the EU government is able to pull this off I am sure there will be a similar attempt here in the near future.

After April 2011, many herbal products and food supplements containing herbs will become illegal to sell in the European Union. This is because of changes in law at a European level. On April 30th, 2011 the THMPD comes fully into force. After this time, only herbal medicines that have been registered will be available EU-wide. For a wide range of herbal products, especially those from non-European traditions such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, the requirements of the registration are either impossible to meet or are prohibitively expensive. In many cases, both constraints apply so the result is that virtually no herbal medicines from these traditions have been registered. These products will effectively be banned after April 2011. The ban will also effect medicinal herbs in food supplements, which are used by many thousands of people across Europe to help maintain their health.

The Alliance for Natural Health is getting ready to take the EU to court if the EU does not listen to their citizens and make changes in the directive. They aim to challenge the EU Directive (THMPD) based on the fact that it is disproportionate, non-transparent and discriminatory. To get additional details from the Alliance for Natural Health click here:http://www.anh-europe.org/node/3113