EU ban on top herbal supplements signifies crackdown on natural health.
by Anthony Gucciardi
After much deliberation, new European Union regulations have come into place banning hundreds of traditional herbal remedies. Under the guise of “protecting” consumers from these “dangerous” supplements, the European Union has opened the flood gates to an onslaught of new legislation designed to cut off access to alternative health supplements worldwide, setting the precedent for the government to tell us what we can and cannot put in our own bodies. The rules allow for only “long-established and quality-controlled medicines” to be sold to consumers, limiting the advancement of any new companies or establishments that the government does not deem to be “quality” by their own terms. This type of governmental regulation of nutritional supplements may soon spill over to the food industry, where government involvement may be even more cause for concern.
Until now, the herbal supplement industry was governed by the 1968 Medicines Act, which was created when there were very few companies selling herbal remedies. Presently, about a quarter of all adults in the UK have used herbal medicine in the past two years, predominately purchasing it over the counter in health food stores and pharmacies. With the widespread use of alternative remedies that cost very little compared to expensive pharmaceuticals and surgeries, comes the intensive regulation of such natural products. The main targets under the new system include echinacea, St John’s Wort and valerian, as well as traditional Chinese and Indian medicines. These are supplements that pose almost zero risk to one’s health as long as they are taken correctly and from high quality sources. How then could these natural health ingredients possibly be seen as a threat to the health of the consumer?
The main claim by the government in regards to the “risk” that these natural herbs pose is that they can interfere with pharmaceuticals. Instead of allowing consumers to choose if they are willing to take potentially health-damaging pharmaceuticals, the government is banning anything that could “interfere” with mainstream medicine. Even the so-called experts behind the ban are members of various pharmaceutical organizations, such as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Since these organizations and individuals couldn’t find any real side effects of these herbs that have been in use for countless decades, they were forced to say that it could potentially cause harm when taken in combination with the very pharmaceuticals they are backing.
“Patients might not realise that in some cases they should not take other medicines with them, or if they’re going for surgery they should tell their doctors they are taking these particular medicines because there may be complications,” said Prof Jayne Lawrence, chief science adviser to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
The draconian ban on natural herbal supplements that have been in use since the dawn of mankind signifies a complete crackdown on natural health supplements by the European Union. This is a landmark ban, as many other governments may follow with similar regulations and restrictions. The reasons behind this ban are truly ridiculous, as the very organizations behind it are the same organizations that back “conventional” pharmaceuticals over any other form of proven medicine. It is integral to the world’s health freedom that consumers take a stand against such acts of herbal tyranny and demand that the government allow for consumers to address their own health conditions without the “helping” hand of governmental control.