Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Fears over herbal remedy tests

Health food shops could face closure if tighter EU laws on herbal remedies come into force in the UK, opponents have warned.

Celebrities Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney are backing protests against the proposal to subject herbal remedies to the same rigorous checks as pharmaceutical drugs.

Critics warn that the proposed legislation would not only needlessly restrict consumer choice but hit retailers hard.

Now the Department of Health has extended its consultation on the proposal until the end of July.

It will then decide whether to give its approval in the European Council of Ministers.

Source BBC News

Ban proposed for herbal medicine

A government watchdog is considering banning the use of Kava-kava as a herbal supplement after patients reported liver problems.
Even its use as an ingredient in some foods could be outlawed.

The Medicines Control Agency (MCA) has launched a public and industry consultation on the future of the herb - used for many years as a remedy for anxiety and restlessness.

The Committee for the Safety of Medicines (CSM) looked at its safety record in December, and stocks of the herb were withdrawn from shops.

However, the MCA's investigations have revealed 68 cases worldwide in which Kava-kava has been linked to liver problems.

These have led to six liver transplants - and three deaths.

In the UK there have been three suspected cases of Kava-kava linked liver toxicity.
People or companies with a view on the herb have until the end of September to make their views known to the MCA.

Source BBC News

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