Thursday, August 25, 2011
Herbal Remedies... being outlawed?
Hundreds of herbal remedies now outlawed across Europe
(NaturalNews) Live in Europe? Get your herbs while they last. New rules put forth by the European Union (EU) will ban the sale of certain herbal remedies that have been used for centuries.
Traditional herbs such as St. John's Wort or Echinacea must now meet strict licensing guidelines in order to be sold, while other lesser-known herbs that haven't been "traditionally" used in the last 30 years won't even make the cut to reach consumer shelves. Only those products that have been "assessed" by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will be available for purchase. The real kicker? Even approved products will only be recommended for minor ailments such as the common cold, which means that product labeling may no longer be allowed to convey the potent health benefits of widely-used herbal remedies.
Richard Woodfield, MHRA head of herbal medicine policy, claims that the new regulations empower the consumer: "The current signs are that the [herbal remedy] market will be lively and competitive. The key difference for consumers is that in the future they will be in the driving seat and able to make an informed choice when they wish to use these medicines."
Banning widely-used natural substances that may help cure or prevent illness promotes "informed" choices?
The most disturbing part? These regulations point to a movement toward complete restriction of herbal products and the idea that pharmaceutical companies may someday have patents on herbal remedies.
Not only do these laws threaten the livelihood of nutritionists, herbalists and holistic healthcare providers across Europe, but they put consumers in a lose-lose situation: go without herbal remedies or run the risk of purchasing them online.
Herbal products still on shelves will be for sale until their expiration dates. Stock up while you can.