UK Petition to Support Herbal MedicineWe the undersigned strongly object to the [UK] Government's proposals to statutorily regulate herbalists and change section 12(1) of the 1968 Medicines Act. We also oppose the abolishing of section 12(2) of the 1968 Medicines Act to be replaced by The Traditional Medicines Registration Scheme by 2011. These proposals have been heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, which stand to gain by the proposals. Any new state regulation requires that a sufficient risk can be demonstrated to prove the need for regulation, there is not any evidence to prove that herbalists or herbal medicine present a significant risk to the public under previous and present legislation, when policed properly. These proposals will reduce access, increase costs, decrease patient choice, encourage a black market and send experienced herbalists underground, crucify our indigenous tradition and diversity of available healthcare. At a time when we face urgent environmental problems, herbal medicine provides some of the answers only if it remains a ‘people’s medicine’, simple and freely accessible. Herbal medicine does not belong to herbalists or pharmaceutical companies, the public should be educated and encouraged to use traditional herbal medicines for minor health problems, not immobilised by a state of fear.Read and sign the petition at gopetition.co.uk (UK)Comment: The British Government wishes to further regulate herbalists by bringing them under state control. In addition, it wants to change the herbal medicine laws to prevent anyone, other than a state regulated herbalist (or possibly other health professional), from prescribing herbs. This, coupled with a previous change to the UK’s herbal medicine laws, will take herbal medicine away from the people and result in state regulated herbalists and pharmaceutical companies claiming herbal medicine as their own. Not surprisingly, therefore, the pharmaceutical industry is heavily involved in influencing the regulation of herbalists and herbal medicine, which it sees as a threat to its multi-billion dollar business with disease.
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