Since the year 2000, the EU has come down heavily on Natural Health therapies, banning practitioners from practising homeopathy unless they are pharmacists, doctors, dentists or nurses. This applies in Belgium, France and many other European countries. In Spain there is currently an attempt to create an outright ban on alternative health practices, including homeopathy and acupuncture.
In 2004, we saw homeopathy legislation, which had always been regulated separately, inserted into EU medicines directives, to be regulated as medicine. This of course means that practitioners could be accused of treating patients without a medical licence and dispensing homeopathic remedies as unlicensed medicines.
Unfortunately, in the UK the 1968 Medicines Act was updated to become the 2012 Medicines Act, in order to include EU regulation, and it clearly states that homeopathy can only be prescribed by pharmacists, doctors, dentists and nurses. This has not actually been enforced as yet but obviously it could be.
We have also seen common herbs which have been in use for thousands of years, banned by the European Union. Herbs that grow on the sides of the motorways, in woodlands and fields. Practically a ban on nature!
In addition, many essential oils used in aromatherapy have also been blacklisted.
One friend of mine has kept a dossier since the 1990s of all the excellent supplements and natural products that have been removed from the independent UK health food shops, many of which have closed down, and they number in the thousands.
Since the EU Food Supplements Directive was transposed into UK law in 2003 by the Blair government, high quality vitamins have disappeared from our UK health shops to be replaced by either low potency or synthetic ones.
Many people who want to purchase high quality vitamin supplements made in countries like America and New Zealand, find when trying to buy them on the internet, that a notice comes up informing them that a product is ‘no longer available in their jurisdiction’, i.e. the EU, since the UK is still a member state.
In addition, the EU ‘s Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation, which came into force in 2007, has meant that it is against the law to make any health claims for the efficacy of a natural health product, or even state on the label which conditions it is supposed to treat!
I am reliably informed that the biggest lobbyists in the European Union are the Big Pharma conglomerates, which of course would like to clamp down totally on people taking anything but prescription drugs. Many vitamin and supplement companies have been bought up by these pharmaceutical companies!
Before we became a member of the European Union, this country operated under English Common Law. Under Common Law you could do what you liked, as long as you didn’t break the law. However, the EU law is different, and says you can only do what the law allows you to do.
I am constantly amazed by the fact that 90% of natural health practitioners appear to want us to remain in the European Union, despite the fact that their jobs may be threatened if we do.
Yet if we leave the EU on World Trade Organisation rules on 29th March 2019, we could create free trade deals with countries all over the world, removing tariffs and streamlining global trade.
Our homeopathic, vitamin, herbal, supplement, organic skincare companies would be able to take advantage of this, and market their products worldwide, showcasing the top quality which we produce in this country. Our natural health industry has been sadly reduced over the past 15 years but this sector could thrive once again.
Companies like Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy, Ainsworths and others would be able to sell their products in health shops around the world.
The large multi-nationals are the ones that love the European Union, for the primary reason that it keeps out competition from small and medium sized innovative companies.
Yet at the Natural & Organics Products trade show held every year in April in London, despite the fact that stalls cost at least £10,000 each, it is filled to maximum capacity and the huge crowds reflect the growing interest of the public.
We are hoping that if we get Brexit, the EU directives that have banned our natural health products or restricted our practices, can be repealed, and once again, our natural health industry can flourish!
Louise Mclean, LCCH was the owner/editor of the website ‘Homeopathy Heals’. Her book “Homeopathy Heals”can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Homeopathy-Heals-Louise-Mclean/dp/0956502903