Europe To Outlaw Hundreds Of Herbal Health Products

herbs2Count this one as a sweeping victory for Big Pharma: regulations set to go into effect across Europe this year will ban hundreds of herbal medicines in one fell swoop. I appreciate the EU’s effort to keep people safe from untested substances, but is it really possible that echinacea could be any more hazardous than, say, prescription antidepressants? The Independent reports:

Hundreds of herbal medicinal products will be banned from sale in Britain next year under what campaigners say is a “discriminatory and disproportionate” European law.

With four months to go before the EU-wide ban is implemented, thousands of patients face the loss of herbal remedies that have been used in the UK for decades. From May 1, 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with an EU directive passed in 2004. The directive was introduced in response to rising concern over adverse effects caused by herbal medicines.

Herbal practitioners say it is impossible for most herbal medicines to meet the licensing requirements for safety and quality, which are intended to be similar to those for pharmaceutical drugs, because of the cost of testing.

According to the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), which represents herbal practitioners, not a single product used in traditional Chinese medicine or ayurvedic medicine has been licensed. In Europe, around 200 products from 27 plant species have been licensed but there are 300 plant species in use in the UK alone.

Michael McIntyre, the chairman of the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, said: “The problem is you can’t get a licence for many herbal medicines because they are grown in people’s back gardens and you can’t patent them. The implications are very serious. Patients want to receive treatment from trained and qualified practitioners but unless we have regulation they can’t have confidence in who is treating them. The worst outcome is that patients will end up going to the internet for their herbal medicines where there are no controls.”

, , , ,

  • Jason

    This tips the balance, no longer are we simply cautioned against figuring things out for ourselves, we are now FORBIDDEN to think for ourselves, forbidden to seek advice from someone who is not sanctioned by the government, forbidden from attempting to help ourselves.

    Are you not scared yet? Are you not concerned at all? Are you not ‘mad as hell’?

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      At the risk of getting the reply of “well, then they win”. No, I’m not mad… I’m am scared…

  • Jason

    This tips the balance, no longer are we simply cautioned against figuring things out for ourselves, we are now FORBIDDEN to think for ourselves, forbidden to seek advice from someone who is not sanctioned by the government, forbidden from attempting to help ourselves.

    Are you not scared yet? Are you not concerned at all? Are you not ‘mad as hell’?

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Europe To Outlaw Hundreds Of Herbal Health Products | Disinformation -- Topsy.com()

  • http://www.harriotts.co.uk Harriotts

    I agree with Jason. While these EU supported pharmaceutical companies products with their side effects continue to be given to people.

    • Haystack

      What makes you think that herbs don’t have side effects? As the article says:

      “Herbal practitioners say it is impossible for most herbal medicines to meet the licensing requirements for safety and quality”

  • http://www.harriotts.co.uk Harriotts

    I agree with Jason. While these EU supported pharmaceutical companies products with their side effects continue to be given to people.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    At the risk of getting the reply of “well, then they win”. No, I’m not mad… I’m am scared…

  • Guest

    oh yeah because there’s a huge concern about using herbs…

  • Guest

    oh yeah because there’s a huge concern about using herbs…

  • Haystack

    What makes you think that herbs don’t have side effects? As the article says:

    “Herbal practitioners say it is impossible for most herbal medicines to meet the licensing requirements for safety and quality”

  • Anonymous

    Same old, same old. You can not regulate the criminals with out also regulating honest folk. Laws are all about putting the criminals out of business, catch is they also require honest people to substantiate their honesty, it is just the nature of things.
    So the herbal remedy people need to get together to substantiate the value of the products or at the very least the relatively harmless nature of their products, they also need to establish, production quality guidelines, impurity controls, growing and harvesting requirements.
    They all just need to get together and set up an association to set standards. Are their crooks and fraudsters in the herbal remedy industry, absolutely, are there honest people, certainly but regulations are required to ensure the safety of the general populace.

  • rtb61

    Same old, same old. You can not regulate the criminals with out also regulating honest folk. Laws are all about putting the criminals out of business, catch is they also require honest people to substantiate their honesty, it is just the nature of things.
    So the herbal remedy people need to get together to substantiate the value of the products or at the very least the relatively harmless nature of their products, they also need to establish, production quality guidelines, impurity controls, growing and harvesting requirements.
    They all just need to get together and set up an association to set standards. Are their crooks and fraudsters in the herbal remedy industry, absolutely, are there honest people, certainly but regulations are required to ensure the safety of the general populace.

    • Dave

      Why?

  • WhiteRose

    Some are good and some are bad. Most consumers aren’t so bright with drugs or herbs they take to be their own advocate. Experts are humans too and humans make mistakes. Kava can cause liver damage so can valium. The difference when you are on prescription meds its up to a doc to test your vitals/organ function regularly to make sure they are functioning. A herbalist doesn’t do this, least not the ones I have gone to.

  • WhiteRose

    Some are good and some are bad. Most consumers aren’t so bright with drugs or herbs they take to be their own advocate. Experts are humans too and humans make mistakes. Kava can cause liver damage so can valium. The difference when you are on prescription meds its up to a doc to test your vitals/organ function regularly to make sure they are functioning. A herbalist doesn’t do this, least not the ones I have gone to.

    • Abyssquick

      No, Kava does not cause liver damage. It has been tenuously linked to a handful of incidents. However, the study that showed this has been successfully refuted – do some more research on this one. Kava has thousands of years of traditional use, sometimes excessive use. The only stipulation is you HAVE to use the root, and the root only. Aerial parts of the plant are what can cause problems. The only liver-toxic kava was found to be from companies which had stem and some leaf material, used as inactive filler. — I am an advocate for regulation, but not for prohibition. Herbs are used incorrectly all of the time – and this is because of a lack of regulation and scientific input.

  • Jordan

    In agreement with Jason… This is why they are called ‘remedies.’ They don’t claim to cure or necessarily treat anything. People like to use them and they seem to work that way. The human mind is the most powerful healer. If you think that it will work, then it will. I’m surprised our FDA doesn’t do something similar to what the EU’s ANH is doing. It sure as hell wouldn’t surprise me with the good ol’ American desire for a diagnosis and a bottle of pills in combination with some Fascist ideologies.

  • Jordan

    In agreement with Jason… This is why they are called ‘remedies.’ They don’t claim to cure or necessarily treat anything. People like to use them and they seem to work that way. The human mind is the most powerful healer. If you think that it will work, then it will. I’m surprised our FDA doesn’t do something similar to what the EU’s ANH is doing. It sure as hell wouldn’t surprise me with the good ol’ American desire for a diagnosis and a bottle of pills in combination with some Fascist ideologies.

  • Anonymous_Reader

    Not only are we prohibited from using things the government/big pharma doesn’t approve of, we are required to use some substances, namely vaccines. Will it soon be mandatory to use other substances as well? How far will the authorities go in determining, for example, that individuals are defective in some way and need medication? I remember, many years ago, this dentist acquaintance I knew suggesting that Prozac was so amazing it ought to be put in the water supply.

    The power to prohibit something implies the power to require something, in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Not only are we prohibited from using things the government/big pharma doesn’t approve of, we are required to use some substances, namely vaccines. Will it soon be mandatory to use other substances as well? How far will the authorities go in determining, for example, that individuals are defective in some way and need medication? I remember, many years ago, this dentist acquaintance I knew suggesting that Prozac was so amazing it ought to be put in the water supply.

    The power to prohibit something implies the power to require something, in my opinion.

  • jestus

    It’s MY body. Let me be!

  • jestus

    It’s MY body. Let me be!

  • Sam Texeira

    We will CONTROL You. We are your MASTERS and YOU WILL OBEY.

  • Sam Texeira

    We will CONTROL You. We are your MASTERS and YOU WILL OBEY.

  • Ironaddict06

    Wow! Wow! Wow! The U.S. gov’t wants the same type of laws. Everybody should be stacking up on vitamins and herbs. I would like to see how they are going to enforce this new law. Are the gov’ts going to arrest people selling vitamins and herbs or fine them? The only good thing is-This is going to create a huge black market. Majority of these herbs can be grown in a garden at home. Some people are going to make a whole lot of money……

  • Ironaddict06

    Wow! Wow! Wow! The U.S. gov’t wants the same type of laws. Everybody should be stacking up on vitamins and herbs. I would like to see how they are going to enforce this new law. Are the gov’ts going to arrest people selling vitamins and herbs or fine them? The only good thing is-This is going to create a huge black market. Majority of these herbs can be grown in a garden at home. Some people are going to make a whole lot of money……

  • Ron Porinsky

    Looks like a new black market opportunity on the horizon

  • Ron Porinsky

    Looks like a new black market opportunity on the horizon

  • Paddym_13

    “From May 1, 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with an EU directive passed in 2004. ”
    NOTHING is being outlawed. These fuckhead ‘alternative’ medicine losers know that they can’t cut it if they are held to any kind of standard. Disinfo indeed….

  • Paddym_13

    “From May 1, 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with an EU directive passed in 2004. ”
    NOTHING is being outlawed. These fuckhead ‘alternative’ medicine losers know that they can’t cut it if they are held to any kind of standard. Disinfo indeed….

    • Zdass

      …How’s it feel to completely miss the point?

      • Jag

        TBH, I see his point. It has been 7 YEARS since the directive was passed, and they haven’t gotten themselves registered? Then they’re probably quacks, people out to make money by selling you junk. A good herbal pacticioner uses fresh, properly prepared natural products, and only the ones that do stuff. The rest deserve to go down.

  • Zdass

    …How’s it feel to completely miss the point?

  • Dave

    Why?

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the thing: Some herbs are indeed dangerous, and some manufacturers are just cashing in on the “alternative” craze and selling impure or improperly labeled herbs. Herbs and big pharma drugs are essentially the same — they’re all chemicals that affect your body. When taken correctly, they can be a big benefit, when taken improperly, they can kill or permanently injure. In theory, I think the idea of making herbalists and alternative practitioners get licensed, and making manufactures of herbal drugs get licensed is a good thing — it lets you know that they know what they’re doing and that the drug is what it says it is so when the licensed practitioner gives it to you they they’re giving you the right thing, in the right dose.

    The problem here is that it sounds like they’ve got a yak-shaving problem and hit at the end of it, looked at all the backtracking they need to do to implement it properly and said “aw, fuck it. We’ll just do it anyway”. This _could_ be a very good thing… but I have this sinking feeling that it’s going to be done all backward and be nothing but problems.

  • quartz99

    Here’s the thing: Some herbs are indeed dangerous, and some manufacturers are just cashing in on the “alternative” craze and selling impure or improperly labeled herbs. Herbs and big pharma drugs are essentially the same — they’re all chemicals that affect your body. When taken correctly, they can be a big benefit, when taken improperly, they can kill or permanently injure. In theory, I think the idea of making herbalists and alternative practitioners get licensed, and making manufactures of herbal drugs get licensed is a good thing — it lets you know that they know what they’re doing and that the drug is what it says it is so when the licensed practitioner gives it to you they they’re giving you the right thing, in the right dose.

    The problem here is that it sounds like they’ve got a yak-shaving problem and hit at the end of it, looked at all the backtracking they need to do to implement it properly and said “aw, fuck it. We’ll just do it anyway”. This _could_ be a very good thing… but I have this sinking feeling that it’s going to be done all backward and be nothing but problems.

  • Jag

    TBH, I see his point. It has been 7 YEARS since the directive was passed, and they haven’t gotten themselves registered? Then they’re probably quacks, people out to make money by selling you junk. A good herbal pacticioner uses fresh, properly prepared natural products, and only the ones that do stuff. The rest deserve to go down.

  • Abyssquick

    No, Kava does not cause liver damage. It has been tenuously linked to a handful of incidents. However, the study that showed this has been successfully refuted – do some more research on this one. Kava has thousands of years of traditional use, sometimes excessive use. The only stipulation is you HAVE to use the root, and the root only. Aerial parts of the plant are what can cause problems. The only liver-toxic kava was found to be from companies which had stem and some leaf material, used as inactive filler. — I am an advocate for regulation, but not for prohibition. Herbs are used incorrectly all of the time – and this is because of a lack of regulation and scientific input.

  • Grooveboss

    They should outlaw the french

  • Grooveboss

    They should outlaw the french

  • Lisatruitt

    Vitamins and herbs on the whole are VERY safe. Anyone who claims otherwise is ignorant.  Go to Andrew Sauls website, doctoryourself.com. There is a link about the safety of vitamins and herbs called, where are the bodies? If vitamins and herbs are so dangerous then where are the bodies, he asks? The government records for deaths attributed to vitamins and herbs in the U.S. is some paltry number like 10 over the last twenty years. Compare that to an over the counter medicine like tylenol for instance which kills or severely harms many thousands per year. Make no mistake about it, this move by the government is not to protect you, because there is little to protect you from. If they really wanted to protect you they would ban tylenol over the counter, but that makes the pharmaceutical companies money, so they aren’t going to do that.

  • Lisatruitt

    Vitamins and herbs on the whole are VERY safe. Anyone who claims otherwise is ignorant.  Go to Andrew Sauls website, doctoryourself.com. There is a link about the safety of vitamins and herbs called, where are the bodies? If vitamins and herbs are so dangerous then where are the bodies, he asks? The government records for deaths attributed to vitamins and herbs in the U.S. is some paltry number like 10 over the last twenty years. Compare that to an over the counter medicine like tylenol for instance which kills or severely harms many thousands per year. Make no mistake about it, this move by the government is not to protect you, because there is little to protect you from. If they really wanted to protect you they would ban tylenol over the counter, but that makes the pharmaceutical companies money, so they aren’t going to do that.

  • http://www.buyspiceonline.com/ herbal

    Herbs hold an obvious appeal for many people because they support the body’s natural healing mechanisms to target the cause of the problem, as opposed to merely tackling the symptoms. It would be wrong to present herbal hair loss remedies as a miracle solution for all sufferers – there is however growing evidence to support the view that some herbal remedies offer real hope to many people.

  • http://www.dominicanresorts.info/ Alec

    Herbs hold an obvious appeal for many people because they support the body’s natural healing mechanisms to target the cause of the problem, as opposed to merely tackling the symptoms. It would be wrong to present herbal hair loss remedies as a miracle solution for all sufferers – there is however growing evidence to support the view that some herbal remedies offer real hope to many people.

  • http://www.dominicanresorts.info/ Alec

    Herbs hold an obvious appeal for many people because they support the body’s natural healing mechanisms to target the cause of the problem, as opposed to merely tackling the symptoms. It would be wrong to present herbal hair loss remedies as a miracle solution for all sufferers – there is however growing evidence to support the view that some herbal remedies offer real hope to many people.

21
More in alternative medicine, Big Pharma, Drugs, Herbs
Sole Thiopental Company Halts Production Over Death Penalty Use

Guess we'll have to hold off killing a few people, or just resort to "inhumane" ways of execution. Globe and Mail reports: Hospira Inc. HSP-N, the only U.S. manufacturer of...

Close