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This work is in progress:
 

 

The full implementation of the EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) erects high barriers to any herbal remedy that hasn't been on the market for 30 years -- including virtually all Chinese, Ayurvedic, and African traditional medicine. It's a draconian move that helps drug companies and ignores thousands of years of medical knowledge. 

We need a massive outcry 
against this. If you feel there is something fundamentally wrong with this whether it frustrates, angers or simply concerns you please sign the Avaaz petition and ask as many of your contact group as possible to do the same.  We need to be able to show the European Commission, the European Medicines Agency, EU governments, European Parliamentarians and others just how strongly people feel about this gross injustice.

I have to admit at this time I don't fully understand the reason for this legislation or who sponsored it. To some extent by writing this I feel I am conspiring with the media. It is rational for us to seek to ensure that products are safe and any claims made about them are understood. I am all for calling a spade a shovel. However, when  most published research findings are false and many results that are rigorously proved and accepted start shrinking in later studies, how does this serve us.

Do we need or want traditional medicines to be treated in the same way as pharmaceuticals? In February 2011 the European ombudsman ruled that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was guilty of maladministration for putting commercial interests ahead of the safety of patients. This is the organisation responsible for the safety and efficacy of medicines licensed in Europe. The Pharmaceutical industry invest millions of pounds in drug research and have a powerful commercial interest in only publishing positive findings for the medicines they have spent years developing. It would appear that all you need is someone with the appropriate cultural bias or financial incentive and you can achieve the results you need.

So I have a whole range of questions to answer:

To get personal

I feel driven to do something because I feel the EU and the British Government are seeking to criminalise me.

I am a regular user of herbal and plant based remedies. I believe that the closer something is to its original state the better it is. If I come into contact with an ill person I will take Echincea & Golden Seal. Before, during and after a flight I take Dandelion & Purslane. As far as I am concerned they work.

When I was notified by my supplier that, following introduction of the EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD), they would no longer be able to supply Echincea & Golden Seal I set about finding ways of maintaining my supply. Then I suddenly felt as if I was doing something illegal. Seeking to get others to conspire with me to brake the law.

Why am I being prevented from addressing my own health and wellbeing?

OK. I have some significant doubts about pharmaceutical remedies and the pharmaceutical industries approach to illness and disease. I suffered with debilitating sinus congestion for over 20 years. The only solutions I was offered by doctors were a parade of drugs that masked the symptoms and the offer of 'painful surgery that probably would not resolve the problem'. I still have respect for the consultant who made that comment. It gave me the wake up call - You have to find an alternative solution.

My solution was a rigorous 30 day detoxification programme with interim support from fenugreek and Fennel. I have now been symptom free for over 15 years.

Why has this legislation been introduced now?

  • Has the alternative market achieved a sufficient size - Is it in transition from cult status to mainstream.
  • Is the pharmaceutical industry seeking to maximise profits by eliminating competition.

National standards at their heart seek to restrict access to markets and protect national interests. International standards seek to harmonise restrictive practices.

Who sponsored the legislation?

 

Media

The role of the media is to:

  • Create a climate of fear
  • Undermine confidence in organisations or people appointed to address a problem.
  • Giving equal merit to contradictory information
  • Equating fact and opinion e.g. implying that fear of crime and measures of crime are the same.
  • Encouraging people to believe they are victims
  • Parading special interest groups to encourage political interests to divert resources.

Pharmaceutical industry

With some exceptions, OK I am glad I live in an age with access antiseptics and antibiotics, the pharmaceutical industry primarily produces products that only mask or suppress symptoms. They condition people to believe that an absence of symptoms signifies good health. When the reality is that the body will continue to canabalaise itself until other symptoms appear or another organ fails.

It is asserted that all the pharmaceutical industry has done is evaluate traditional medicines and made them available in concentrated consistent way. This was how the industry started but it is a long way from this now. I would rather eat an apple than a spoon full of fruit pectin.

As with any industry the primary activity within the pharmaceutical industry is profit and sweating assets. They focus on lifestyle drugs for the developed world and sustaining the shelf life of a drug by searching out alternative uses for existing drugs.

Medical Practitioners

Doctors are the primary sales channel within the pharmaceutical industry. Sadly their education provides them little opportunity to understand or deal with peoples problems. Preferring to offer 'lifestyle drugs'  rather than instigating change.

The rigorous conditioning doctors are subjected to during their training is similar to that given to new recruits in the army: Long days, little sleep, operating in highly stressful situations. First you break them, then you rebuild them. This ensures that they provide a consistent conditioned response. As with TQM (Total Quality Management) you gate the same answer every time - even if it is wrong. And it takes them a very long time to admit they were wrong let alone implement any change.

Food Industry

I would rather the food industry acted to stop the food industry using pharmaceuticals rather than stopping me from taking food based herbs and vitamins.

Mythical balanced diet

Doctors and dietitians don't appear to have a good grasp of nutrition or food. Often placing misguided faith in the mythical balanced diet. Consuming all the recommended foods from every food group every day would ensure that more people become obese - I no longer toil in a field from dawn to dusk. Neither will it  ensure that people receive the nutrients they need. Nutrients in food have been falling for years. The food industry is concerned with appearance and price not nutrition.

 

References

1 - Ioannidis, J. P. A. (2005). "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False". PLoS Medicine 

2 - Lehrer, J (2010). The Truth Wears Off Is there something wrong with the scientific method? The New Yorker.

3 - Laurence, J. (2011) Drug regulator accused of harming patients with secrecy. Independent

4 - Laurence, J. (2011) Death wish: Routine use of vital antibiotics on farms threatens human health. Independent