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Statutory regulation of herbalists

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Statutory regulation of herbalists

#1 Post by Alan H » March 28th, 2015, 11:10 am

We've been waiting for this for a while...

The Government's report on the statutory regulation of herbalists has just been published: REPORT ON THEREGULATION OFHERBAL MEDICINESAND PRACTITIONERS

They will NOT be statutorily regulated. Tredinnick must be furious.

I've not read the full report, but it seems to say lots of sensible things and things we may be able to use.

It made the Telegraph today: Herbal doctors will not be regulated, despite pleas from Prince Charles

And Edzard's blog post this morning: Once again: the regulation of nonsense will generate nonsense – the case of UK herbalists
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Ron Webb
Posts: 289
Joined: May 9th, 2009, 11:21 pm

Re: Statutory regulation of herbalists

#2 Post by Ron Webb » March 28th, 2015, 3:51 pm

Help me with this, Alan. Please excuse my thickheadedness, but this is a good thing, right?

When I first saw your post I thought, aw shucks, the government ought to be regulating these guys so that they can prevent them from making unsubstantiated health claims. But I see their point. There is no basis on which to say that this practioner is better qualified than that practitioner, since it's pretty much all nonsense to begin with. And as soon as you set up a regulatory system, you are giving them an official stamp of approval.

Right? :puzzled:

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Statutory regulation of herbalists

#3 Post by Alan H » March 28th, 2015, 3:57 pm

Ron Webb wrote:Help me with this, Alan. Please excuse my thickheadedness, but this is a good thing, right?

When I first saw your post I thought, aw shucks, the government ought to be regulating these guys so that they can prevent them from making unsubstantiated health claims. But I see their point. There is no basis on which to say that this practioner is better qualified than that practitioner, since it's pretty much all nonsense to begin with. And as soon as you set up a regulatory system, you are giving them an official stamp of approval.

Right? :puzzled:
Spot on!

However, the same applies to chiropractors and osteopaths yet they got statutory regulation over a decade ago. If only the Government had applied the same rigour then!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Ron Webb
Posts: 289
Joined: May 9th, 2009, 11:21 pm

Re: Statutory regulation of herbalists

#4 Post by Ron Webb » March 28th, 2015, 4:08 pm

I like this quote from page 28 of the report: "The herbals sector must recognise that its overall approach (including the rationale for use of products and methods of treatment, education and training, and interaction with the NHS) needs to be more science and evidence based [if] in order to be established as a profession on the same basis as other groups that are statutorily regulated." (Too bad they messed it up with an apparent typo -- the word "if" after the phrase I bolded doesn't belong.)

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Dave B
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Re: Statutory regulation of herbalists

#5 Post by Dave B » March 28th, 2015, 5:31 pm

Ron Webb wrote:I like this quote from page 28 of the report: "The herbals sector must recognise that its overall approach (including the rationale for use of products and methods of treatment, education and training, and interaction with the NHS) needs to be more science and evidence based [if] in order to be established as a profession on the same basis as other groups that are statutorily regulated." (Too bad they messed it up with an apparent typo -- the word "if" after the phrase I bolded doesn't belong.)
Looks like a typical sentence remainder left during editing. Might have originally read something like, "...if theywish to be regarded..."

Bin there, done that :sad2:
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Ron Webb
Posts: 289
Joined: May 9th, 2009, 11:21 pm

Re: Statutory regulation of herbalists

#6 Post by Ron Webb » March 30th, 2015, 12:03 am

On a related note, I happened to listen to an archive issue of the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe today (episode 500), and came across something interesting.

A couple of months ago, the New York State Attorneys General sent a "cease and desist" order to four of the biggest pharmaceutical retailers, ordering them to remove various herbal supplements from their shelves. This was in response to a large scale study which found that few of the bottles even contained the main ingredient. According to the Washington Post, "Of the four retailers, Wal-Mart was the worst offender: None of its six supplements that were tested was found to contain purely the ingredient advertised."

Most of them contained unrelated substances and fillers (rice powder, dried vegetables, etc.) and some even contained unreported ingredients like legumes, which are common allergens (think peanut allergies here :shock: ).

This is an industry that wants to be taken seriously?

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Alan H
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Re: Statutory regulation of herbalists

#7 Post by Alan H » March 30th, 2015, 1:25 am

The problem is the US supplement manufacturers got a law passed, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), in 1994 that effectively gave them carte blanche to do what they liked, free from the Food and Drugs Administration oversight. They can effectively make whatever they like and claim whatever they like, which is why so many Americans take supplements. The manufacturers have done a good job at conning the people into buying their products - the scare tactics include telling Americans that the food they eat is so manufactured and so highly processed (to make profits for the food industry, of course and sod the health of the paying consumer) as to remove virtually all essential vitamins, minerals, etc that everyone needs to take supplements or they will die. That's very nearly not an exaggeration and the industry is worth billions.

The FDA are essentially powerless - they have no powers of control or inspection - and, of course, they are in the pockets of Big Pharma, so can't be trusted... you get the idea. Conspiracy theories like this are rife.

The FDA has extremely limited powers even in blatant cases such as this and with powerful lobbies in Washington, the dire situation is unlikely to change in the near future. The power of big business - the supplement business - is as bad as the Big Pharma and just as unscrupulous. At least Big Pharma make some very useful and highly effective drugs: all the supplements do is make expensive urine.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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