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Dark Times for Herbal Medicine in Europe

Our European Office, is preparing for a legal challenge against EU herb laws.

As we reported to you last November, thousands of products associated with traditional medicine will soon become illegal throughout the European Union (EU). And more and more, EU legislation influences US domestic policy, especially where health-related laws are concerned. The EU threat to herbal medicine is real, and we urge you to take stock of what’s going on so we can collectively jump in the minute anything similar emerges from US regulators. After all, it was that joint action from consumers and health organizations back in 1994 that has kept US regulations over dietary supplements relatively sane. But let’s not forget that this kind of freedom needs to be fought for every step of the way.

Here’s what our colleagues in the ANH Europe office are able to relay to you.

The EU has passed a stunning 139,338 directives, regulations and decisions since 1980. While it previously allowed European countries (now referred to as EU “member states”) to make up their own rules controlling natural healthcare products, there has been a push since around 2000 to control this area by rules formulated primarily by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

One of the laws that is set to devastate herbal medicines and products EU-wide, the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD, also known as Directive 2004/24/EC) successfully passed into European law back in 2004. The law will be implemented fully on May 1 this year, and ANH-Intl has exhausted all options other than legal challenge in its efforts to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of European citizens.

Zero Deaths from Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids or Herbs

Poison Control Statistics Prove Supplements' Safety Yet Again

(OMNS Jan 5, 2011) There was not even one death caused by a dietary supplement in 2009, according to the most recent information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System.

The new 200-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin.

Additionally, there were no deaths whatsoever from any amino acid, herb, or dietary mineral supplement. 

Two people died from non-nutritional mineral poisoning, one from a sodium salt and one from an iron salt or iron. On page 1139, the AAPCC report specifically indicates that the iron fatality was not from a nutritional supplement. One other person is alleged to have died from an "Unknown Dietary Supplement or Homeopathic Agent." This claim remains speculative, as no verification information was provided.

60 poison centers provide coast-to-coast data for the U.S. National Poison Data System, "one of the few real-time national surveillance systems in existence, providing a model public health surveillance system for all types of exposures, public health event identification, resilience response and situational awareness tracking."

Over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet daily, that makes 155,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of nearly 57 billion doses annually. Since many persons take more than just one vitamin or mineral tablet, actual consumption is considerably higher, and the safety of nutritional supplements is all the more remarkable.

If nutritional supplements are allegedly so "dangerous," as the FDA and news media so often claim,
then
where are the bodies?

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