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Protecting Europe’s Tradition Of Botanical Medicine

leafdrippingintobottleAt a workshop in Budapest sponsored by the Indian government and convened by the European Ayurvedic Association, the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl) announced its plan to begin legal proceedings against the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products.

The directive, which requires that the same pharmaceutical standards as govern conventional, synthetic drugs be applied to herbal products (at a great cost), poses a major threat to the continued use of botanical products and long-standing healthcare practices, including those of Ayurveda and Unani and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Until now, many herbal products have been sold in the European Union under the food supplement regime. But most E.U. member states expect to narrow the regime once the directive’s 7-year transition phase expires on March, 31, 2011.
Dr. Robert Verkerk, executive director of ANH-Intl, said: “Getting a classical herbal medicine from a non-European traditional medicinal culture through the E.U. registration scheme is akin to putting a square peg into a round hole. The regulatory regime ignores and thus has not been adapted to the specific traditions. Such adaptation is required urgently if the directive is not to discriminate against non-European cultures and consequently violate human rights.”
ANH-Intl and its lawyers, Cheyney Goulding, have sought advice from leading London-based barristers who specialize in European laws covering competition and human rights. Referring to ANH-Intl’s legal advice, Verkerk stated: “We are now confident that our legal counsel has found a solid way forward that will be in the long-term interests of European and non-European citizens alike. Given the challenges facing the health of the people of Europe, especially as a result of the burden of chronic diseases, the EU should be welcoming — not locking out —these very long-standing, multi-faceted and effective healthcare traditions. We are now assured that a diverse range of interests are willing to work with us to initiate the judicial review process”.  For more information please visit the ANH-Intl website here.

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5 thoughts on “Protecting Europe’s Tradition Of Botanical Medicine

  • Hi There
    As the publisher for 15 years of a natural health and wellness journal in Saskatchewan, Canada, I am happy to hear that there are great efforts being made to protect these natural products from being classified as pharmaceutical products, etc. I am a user of natural supplements and natural medicinals as are most of my readers and many of the people in our province, and I don’t want to have any restrictions on the use of them where I am or anywhere. I’m glad there are people such as yourselves working to protect these products so we can continue to have them available.
    Bravo! Keep up the great work!
    Melva Armstrong,
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada

  • Living with natural for better quality of life! Everyone seeks treatment for imbalances and choose to live a balanced life. But of course, when you have better information, you could have better health. Thanks for this information, this is very helpful when you choose a healthy living.

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