We maintain that we are acting in the best interests of our customers, ethically and morally, and try to keep within the legal framework. As a result, we do not ‘advertise’ the medicinal benefits and side effects, but these are freely accessible to you, with clinical and traditional research references for each ingredient and where applicable, the blends, so that you can make up your own mind. We strongly advise you to seek professional medical assistance if in any doubt.
The current Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) labelling guidelines contravene other legislation, such as Natasha’s law, in a number of ways. Natasha’s law requires that all food products pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) must have a full list of ingredients, including allergens, on the label. However, the MHRA guidelines allow herbal products to be labelled as “natural” or “herbal” without listing all of the ingredients. This means that consumers may be unaware of the presence of allergens in herbal products, which could pose a serious health risk.
In addition, the MHRA guidelines prohibit herbal products from making any claims about their medicinal benefits. This is in contrast to other legislation, such as the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. This requires businesses to provide consumers with accurate information about the products they sell. As a result, consumers are not being given all of the information they need to make informed decisions about whether or not to use herbal products.
Misuse Of Labelling
It is understandable that the MHRA is concerned about the potential for herbal products to be misused. However, the current guidelines are too restrictive and are preventing consumers from making informed decisions about their health. There is a need for a more balanced approach that allows consumers to be warned about the possible medical side effects of herbs, while still allowing them to learn about the possible benefits.
It is our ethical and moral duty to provide the medical information on the possible side effects of any ingredient, including possible, known allergens, but the MHRA legislation prohibits herbal manufacturers from doing this. If we are allowed to put the medical side effects, then it follows that we should not be prevented from providing the traditional herbal medicinal benefits too. Benefits for one consumer, may be a threat to another. The MHRA provide a licensing process costing thousands of pounds per product that permits the advertising of the medicinal properties of a product, but this is a restrictive trade as it is only affordable for the larger companies and pharmaceutical firms. As outlined, the MHRA legislation (The Herbal Products Regulations 2012) contradict and conflict with too many other laws.
You will find that there are many suppliers of herbal products on the market who make claims of medicinal properties in blatant opposition to the legislation, many from overseas companies. They only list the medicinal benefits – few mention the possible side effects and contradictions. The MHRA are unwilling or unable to control this, thus providing these rogue companies a competitive advantage over UK-based companies who try to comply with the law.