Herbal medicines will survive after ministers approve plan that bypasses EU directive

Herbal and Chinese medicines that faced the axe are to stay under new plans to register UK practitioners for the first time.

The Government has moved to protect consumers wanting herbal products that will disappear from many health food shops after April 30. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley will ensure around 2,500 qualified herbalists and Chinese medicine practitioners continue to have the right to supply a wide range of herbal medicines.

They had faced restrictions under an EU directive because they are not signed up to a statutory regulation scheme. Mr Lansley has approved a plan for the Health Professions Council (HPC) to establish a register of practitioners supplying unlicensed herbal medicines, who will be required to sign up by law.

But from May 1 consumers will be unable to personally buy many traditional herbal products under an EU directive passed in 2004, taking effect this year.

Source - Daily Mail

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