Consumers who rely on herbal remedies as part of their everyday lifestyle may find that their choice could soon be taken away from them.
From May 2011 new laws will require herbal remedies to be officially registered with a government agency who have approved their safety, meaning that some popular products could be removed from the shop shelves.
From May onwards, a traditional herbal registration number and a picture of a sprig of leaves will be printed on the label to let consumers know they are safe.
The licensing body says their primary aim is to eradicate bad practice and keep people safe, though critics argue it may mislead consumers into thinking the products have been ‘proven’ to work.
Only 90 remedies have registered so far, perhaps in part due to the fact that it is up to the drugs company to apply for a license and some are too small to justify the expenditure of a license.
Robert Verkerk from the Alliance For Natural Health International said: ”The vast majority of smaller companies do not have the budget because they have a large diversity of products and each license simply doesn’t generate enough sales to justify the cost of a license.”
It is thought that the new licensing laws will mean that the vast majority of Indian and Chinese remedies will now be unattainable.
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