Brace Yourself, The Clampdown on Alternative Medicine Has Begun

Death of herbal supplements
Is this the death of herbal supplements?

Here’s a message I just recieved from one of my contacts. It’s well worth reading!

Being in the alternative medicine industry at the moment, is a bit like walking around in peak hour traffic with a bag pulled over your head… no one really knows what the future holds, but we know it’s far from rosy…

My colleague and editor of cutting-edge, alternative health monthly journal, Health Sciences Institute, Rachael Linkie, recently went to the Natural and Organic Products Europe 2011 exhibition.

When she returned, Rachael was very excited about the wealth of new nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, and natural healthcare products on display at the show. However, her enthusiasm was dampened by the uncertainty of not knowing what the full impact of the Herbal Medicines Product Directive (THMPD) will be on many of the products she saw on display… and more worryingly, how it will affect those who rely on herbal remedies for their health.

Left in the dark

Under the original UK Medicines Act, herbal remedies were exempt from licensing as long as they made no medical claims. However, under the new legislation — the THMPD — this exemption has been removed, meaning that all medicinal herbal products on the European market must either be registered under the Directive by 30 April 2011 or be removed from the market altogether.

For many the THMPD may seem like a very good idea. However, if you consider that there are other much darker forces – like Big Pharma – working very hard to stamp out alternative remedies altogether in order to wipe out the competition, this kind of legislation becomes very sinister.

Who’s behind all of this?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)!

See, the EFSA works on an evidence assessment system, based on the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) which supposedly protects consumers from manufacturers ‘falsely’ talking about the health benefits of a particular product. It is under this guise of so-called ‘protection’ that the THMPD is coming into force in the UK… taking away one of our most basic human rights: The freedom to choose how we want to take care of our own health!

Soon the only way anyone will be able to mention the health benefits of a natural remedy or herbal formula, will be if it’s been specifically approved by the EFSA…

This wouldn’t be so bad if it was a fair process… but it’s anything but.

So far, the EFSA has rejected 100 per cent of all natural products containing botanical or probiotic ingredients. In many cases, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that had been published in prestigious medical journals were submitted as evidence to support the health benefits of a particular product, and the EFSA still rejected it!

Keep the legacy alive

Take a walk down your local high street and visit any health food store and you’ll probably notice that there is not much variety on the shelves or that there’s a sale on almost every item available…

Why do you think this is?

Manufacturers and retailers need to get rid of their stock before the new laws come into full force!

I’m sitting with three sample bottles of newly formulated herbal remedies on my desk, which have not yet hit the shelves of health food stores. From reading the labels on each bottle, I can tell you exactly what the ingredients in each of them are. What I can’t tell you is what ailments the remedies can be used to help prevent or treat, or what the daily recommended dosage for them is.

This is because these new laws are nothing but a wickedly devised plan to clamp down on all natural remedies. Soon just mentioning the health benefits of a particular remedy will be illegal! Worse still, asking a sales assistant in a health food store to tell you more about a remedy or herbal formula will be futile, because if they tell you they will be breaking the law!

For someone who is knowledgeable about the health protective benefits and healing properties of many natural ingredients that may be contained in a herbal formula, it will be easy to look at the list of ingredients on a label and know exactly what the benefits are… but those who don’t know will be left in the dark.

Unless, there is a way to keep the legacy alive…

Luckily, we at the Health Sciences Institute, can still write about alternative remedies. We can still act as a source of vital information and pass that information onto you, and hopefully you will share it with your children and grandchildren… and, in the process, help prevent the world from becoming a sick and prescription drug-dependant place.

Francois Lubbe
UK Editor (Health Science Institute)