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Herbal remedies to disappear from shelves as new EU law bites

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Most herbal remedies will disappear from stores in the UK and across Europe from May when new EU legislation comes into force. Every single remedy from the Indian Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) traditions will also be barred.
Popular herbal remedies – including red clover and chasteberry for PMS, hawthorn for cardiovascular health and meadowsweet for arthritis – will be removed from the shelves on May 1.
In all, just 79 herbal products – including valerian and Echinacea – will still be available, says the Alliance for Natural Health International, which is mounting a legal challenge to the EU’s Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive, responsible for the wholesale ban.
Under the directive, manufacturers had to licence their products, a process that costs up to lb150,000. Thus far, just 26 companies have licensed the 79 ‘approved’ herbal products, and pharmaceutical companies own one third of these.
However, not one single herb from the Ayurvedic, traditional Chinese or Amazonian traditions has been registered, and so will disappear from the shelves. Traditional herbs that will go include arjuna and bibitaki from the Ayurvedic tradition, Chinese goldthread and foxglove from TCM, and cat’s claw, Pau d’Arco and graviola from Amazonian medicine.
ANH’s executive Robert Verkerk is mounting the legal challenge on the basis that it is disproportionate, non-transparent and discriminatory.
The ANH has so far raised lb60,000 of the lb100,000 needed to fund the challenge in the High Court.
The ANH can be contacted on its UK number: 01306 646600.

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