In april 2011 a new european law will ban the sale of all herbal medicines except licensed traditional remedies for mild and self-limiting illness. Many of the herbal medicines currently prescribed will be withdrawn because only authorised health professionals who aer statutorily regulated (like GP’s) will have the right to prescribe herbal remedies. At present herbalists are not statutorily regulated dn will therefore be effectively criminalised if they continue to prescribe many of the herbal remedies that they currently prescribe after april 2011. (taken from the oxford campaign to protect herbal medicine).
I find this proposed legislation shocking. I’ve been using vitamins and chinese herbs for years to support my health and to help me overcome the side effects of the allopathic medicine that my doctor prescribes. If i can’t get these remedies, i will be forced to take yet more prescribed medicine. Something that I am loathe to do.
In a country where we have free health care, many people chose to spend their money on alternative therapies and remedies that they feel help them. If this option is taken away, we will be forced back to the NHS for more consultations and prescriptions. Has the government considered what extra pressure this legislation will pile onto an already groaning health service? No doubt this legislation has been lobbied and supported by the pharmaceutical industry who must feel like they are losing out on valuable profits by people taking these remedies. Heaven forbid that their margins should be reduced. And what about the jobs that will be lost as herbalists, consultants and distributors will be forced to close? And can it really be right to criminalise herbalists and alternative therapists as our prisons are already bursting at the seams? To me, it smacks a little of the persecution of herbalists and wise women that were tortured in centuries past tormented and forced underground as clerics and doctors claimed control over people’s bodies and souls.
I personally feel that it is one of my basic human rights to take whatever remedies I need to support my health and wellbeing. It is my choice and I strongly object to this legislation restricting me to prescribed medicines. So I am doing what i can to protest. We don’t have much time left so I urge you to do what you can.
1. Write to Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, the dept of health, richmond house, 79 whitehall, london. SW1A 2NS.
2. Write to your MP. You can find their name and address at http://findyourmp.parliament.uk
3. Visit the register of Chinese herbal medicine website for template letters and more information at www.rchm.co.uk
For further information contact the Oxford campaign to protect herbal medicine on 01865 351860.