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Home | Friday 30th October 2009 | Issue 697

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SchNEWS’ ears on the ground have heard rumblings of a storm in the herbal tea cup. Herbalists fear that the practice of herbalism in this country is coming under serious threat.

The herbal lobby have been working with the Government for over ten years towards the statutory regulation of herbal medicine, in light of forthcoming EU legislation on the supply of herbs. The latter which is now called ‘The Herbal Medicinal Products Directive’, has been processed and will come into effect in 2011. It will mean herbs will be available only to statutorily regulated practitioners. This is designed to ensure that the health of the public is safeguarded against bogus practitioners and most people are in consensus that this is a good step.

However, herbalists are facing the the very real possibility that they may now be denied the statutory regulation at the last minute and so will be unable to legally gain access to these herbs after next year.

The Department of Health has put out a consultation in order to gather the views of the public on the proposed ‘Statutory Regulation of Herbalists’ (it closes on November 2nd - see which may help swing their final decision.

If you are amongst the 50% of the population that uses herbal medicine or want more info, see the National Institute of Medical Herbalists ( and act now else you might have to kiss that Siberian Ginseng goodbye...

Keywords: alternative medicine, drugs, eu


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