Naturopathy: Dubious petition for medicinal plants

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Naturopathy: Dubious Bundestag petition against the EU ban on medicinal plants

Many interested people in naturopathy, naturopaths and general practitioners have been showered with a flood of emails and "critical media reports" in the past few days. There is an "urgent need for action" because the EU wants to introduce "a ban on the sale of medicinal plants". At the same time, the call was made to sign an online petition to the German Bundestag to "perhaps ward off this dark specter". But is natural medicine really as acutely endangered, as has been repeatedly prayed and claimed in the past few days?

The Research Committee for Natural Medicine e. V. (KFN) clearly says no. And the association is in no way suspected of wanting to play into the hands of conventional medicine or the pharmaceutical lobby. Because the KFN is an organization recognized by naturopaths and medical professionals, which it claims to promote the research of natural medicine procedures. According to the KFN, a "downright disinformation campaign" is currently taking place, which "abuses the good faith advocates of phytotherapy. With their dubious action, the apparent savers of phytotherapy do no less damage than their declared opponents, "according to the KFN. A drastic criticism that is voiced here. But let's take a closer look at the facts.

Contrary to the claims of the authors of the petition, the directive 2004/24 / EC does not refer to "food supplements and medicinal herbs" but only to "herbal medicinal products". From a legal point of view, food supplements are foods and therefore remain completely unaffected by this regulation. In addition, the change in the law is by no means new, but the directive was passed on March 31, 2004.

But that's not all, the current campaign seems particularly absurd to the KFN because the new directive (2004/24 EC) only came into being so that "these products can remain on the market", as is literally stated in recital 3 there. This directive has introduced a simplified registration procedure for this product group after the directive 2001/83 / EC, which was adopted three years earlier, required every manufacturer of a medicinal product to provide scientific documents that demonstrate its quality, safety and effectiveness. Many herbal medicines with a long tradition could not meet this requirement. They would therefore have had to disappear from the market without Directive 2004/24 / EC.

Certain requirements must also be met for the registration of a traditional drug. They are listed in Chapter 2a, Article 16a of the Directive. Traditional medicinal products must therefore have been in use for 30 years, including 15 years in the EU, they may only have a certain strength and are only suitable in doses that pose no risk to the patient, especially for self-medication. The transition period for adapting existing preparations to these provisions expires in April 2011.

"Only those manufacturers who have not done their homework and have passed all deadlines without action can be affected by the provisions," commented Prof. Dr. Michael Habs the process. It remains to be seen that a campaign is currently underway that is not intended to restrict consumer interests. On the contrary: A simplified registration procedure for natural medicine products is introduced. (sb, KFN, 10.11.2010)

Also read:
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Naturopathy petition to the Bundestag

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