ANH challenge to EU threat to traditional herbs

After April 2011, many herbal products and food supplements containing herbs will become ILLEGAL. This is because of changes in law at a European level. On 30 April 2011 a European Directive, known as the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) comes fully into force. After this time, only herbal medicines that have been registered under the scheme will be available EU-wide.

For a wide range of herbal products, especially those from non-European traditions such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, the requirements of the scheme are either impossible to meet or are prohibitively expensive. In many cases, both constraints apply so the result is that virtually no herbal medicines from these traditions have been registered. These products will effectively be banned after April 2011. The ban will also effect medicinal herbs in food supplements, which are used by many thousands of people across Europe to help maintain their health.

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