Wednesday 9 December 2009


The EU has prescribed a bitter pill which could deliver a fatal blow to the UK’s herbal medicine industry says UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass.

West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass is backing calls made by HRH The Prince of Wales for the Government to implement the regulation of herbalists.

The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health charity claims without regulation an EU directive banning herbalists and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine from using manufactured or pre-prepared herbal medicines could abandon herbal medicine patients to ‘quackery’.

The charity, which was founded by the Prince of Wales in 1993, has expressed fears that, without regulation and the implementation of the EU Directive in 2011, herbal medicine patients may be tempted to obtain their medicines from backstreet traders.

Under the EU Directive only statutory registered professionals like doctors would be able to prescribe manufactured or pre-prepared herbal medicines.

Mr Nattrass has welcomed the charity’s statements and also a statement by the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA) that without Government regulation of the industry the directive would force many herbalists to close down.

He said: “I fully back the comments made by the Prince’s charity and the statements made by the EHTPA. The herbal medicine industry could be plunged into crisis by this directive which is due to be implemented in 2011.
“It could lead to herbal medicine patients seeking remedies from backstreet traders or via junk websites.

“This EU directive could have very serious consequences and like all UKIP MEPs I am completely opposed to this interference from the European Union.

“We should regulate our own healthcare services and not be dictated to by Brussels.

“This whole issue is deeply concerning and UKIP has warned of this for the past seven years. We should make our own laws and policies in Westminster,” he added.