Newsletter Number 21: Red Tape Challenge response
Challenging misleading claims
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Red Tape Challenge response
Thanks to all 190 of our supporters who responded to our Red Tape Challenge Survey!
This fantastic response helped us formulate our reply to the Red Tape Challenge and we were able to include many of your comments.
You can download a pdf of our full response here.
It is clear that it is highly misleading for the medicines regulator to be lending legitimacy to homeopathic non-medicines. Unfortunately, regulation of homeopathic 'medicines' is mandated by EU Directives, but we can see no need for these to be regulated by the medicines regulator. We have recommended that the Government review 'right-touch' regulation of these products and asked that they consider a more appropriate body.
It is also clear that current regulation is not working to protect the public because it allows the labelling of homeopathic products to mislead consumers. We have recommended that this be reviewed so that consumers are able to make fully informed choices.
When it comes to the regulation of herbal products, the situation is more complicated because some traditional herbal products can have pharmacological effects and can interfere with conventional medicines. It is appropriate that some measure of protection is afforded to consumers by good and effective regulation.
However, the current regulations do not work to protect the consumer because of the double standard of the lax herbal regulation compared to the far more stringent Marketing Authorisation required by conventional medicines: herbal products are not required to demonstrate efficacy and the current regulations are certanly not burdensome. We have recommended that the Government looks at more appropriate regulation.
Like the labelling of homeopathic products, the labelling required by the traditional herbal regulations also does not work to allow consumers to make informed choices.
For further details, please read our full response.
Thanks again for all your support.
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Alan & Maria
21 April 2012
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