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David- Maldon
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Well here it is.

We've know about this for some time now, and the UK government has rolled over in the face of EU despotism. This is the thin edge of the wedge, and may be likely to affect nutritionists that supply supplements, herbal medicine practitioners, homeopathy remedies and so on. Our local health store has already closed down- I just hope that not too many follow suit. 😡

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AspireST
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I assume this will mean the end of all the small Chinese medicine clinics that are around the country?

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Indo
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 Indo
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Looks like i made the right decision by not doing the 'herb' course i intended to do a few months back! 🙂

Like the article says, they just love to regulate things, like we're all not capable of doing things ourselves! its just another form of big brother and the 'what ifs'

Its cheaper to ban something than fund the research.....money...money....money!

In the long run it will fall back onto the NHS.....then......well......the'll go private!.... and we're all @&$£'d

What the hell is this country coming too :mad::(:mad::(

INDO

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kvdp
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There's a big picture, which is a climate of oppression against alternative health.

The USA has just passed new laws giving the FDA control over every kind of food production, making it either illegal or quite likely impossible for small producers of wholefoods to survive under an impossible weight of regulation.

Clauses include the setting up of US overseas missions to other countries to supervise standards of food production elsewhere, and educate governments worldwide in these standards. The effect is that large corporations producing processed food will thrive, while anybody selling real food locally will not survive. We should worry that our food supply will look even more like that in the USA.

It also invokes 'codex alimentarius', which is an international standard that will as far as I understand mean that action can be taken against anybody making claims such as 'GM free' on a product. It will be impossible to demand GM free food, and it may be illegal to label food as such, or even to select non-GM ingredients over others. All of this may be on the grounds that these are an implication of higher quality than corporate mush, and as such might be misleading or unfairly competitive in the market place.

Make what you will of those concerns, the point is that Americans will soon be unable to buy food that is fresh, raw, unprocessed or unpasturised. They will be deprived of their right to eat normal healthy nutritious food, a basic necessity and right in life, and supposedly all in the interests of their health. Even growing it in their own garden may be problematic, I am not exactly clear on this. Anyone?

And it turns out that the US state has been planning an aggressive campaign of measures against specific targets in European countries that have not complied with the wishes and interests of organisations like Monsanto.

Behind all of this seems to be the huge force of corporate lobbying, and the behaviour of sociopathic organisations such as Monsanto, who have wreaked havoc in their quest for control over worldwide farming and communities. This is the company that sued a Canadian organic farmer, after their genetically-modified seed wafted over his land: they claimed he was breaching their patents when the seed grew on his land, ruining his livelihood. This is the company that invented 'terminator seeds', and was attempting to force laws in places like India to make keeping of natural seedstock illegal.

But enough about the USA...

Here in Europe from next year it will be illegal to manufacture many common herbs and supplements. My local shop has told me that sell-by dates and stock-piling will allow them to sell these products up until 2014, and after that it may be impossible to source them.

The grey area is what constitutes a medicinal product or a food supplement. So it may be possible to buy vitamins in small enough doses that a significant health benefit is not likely, but large dose vitamins with health claims may be a big problem. Moreover, these may be regulated more like drugs, and supply left in the hands of the people with the biggest interest in limiting that supply.

My stockist isn't sure exactly what will be removed and what will stay, but one thing is for sure - very soon, completely harmless substances that many of us rely on in helping our patients and families to stay well are likely to become unavailable in the near future. These are not necessarily pharmacologically active herbs, but may include sensible doses of normal nutrients that we all require for a healthy life. We need to be able to purchase them because our diets are now very depleted in nutrients thanks to modern production methods. This is the triumph of biotechnology. If anyone can offer more precise details of the changes in the law here and what they will mean I'd be very grateful - trawling through the official documents it is not easy to see exactly what is going on, but by the time it is clear, it may already have happened.

We are seeing increasing pressures in various health professions to toe official lines. It's hard to imagine that standardisation of training and practice throughout Europe in the regulated professions won't be a reality at some point, with everything that leads to. What we are seeing in reality is the construction of practice-frameworks and revalidation procedures, and an increasing drive to specify and define things without any clear indication of need. These entities will be validated in accordance with medical theory, and they could make it very difficult to operate a distinctive clinical practice, even if that continues to be allowed. Non-regulated professions will not even be as fortunate as this, with the herbalists, for example, in immediate danger of going under altogether.

And coming from the skeptico-blogosphere a campaign of busy-body vetting of the scope of practice of chiropractors, osteopaths etc is gathering pace, with the aim of making it extremely difficult to offer services to the public in a way that the public will know what help is available to them for many problems - and again, apparently this is for the good of the public. It seems that the regulators are prepared to defer to the judgement of the advertising standards authority on what our limits will be. Their hands may be tied, I don't know, but there is something wrong when the ASA are the experts without ever needing to do the training, and with the click of a mouse life can now be made a misery for an experienced and respected practitioner offering a service in good faith.

Even such 'neutral' media as the BBC seems to be completely in the pocket of the medical propaganda machine. I have written to the News section of Radio 4, insisting that they cover issues such as flu vaccination much more critically: not that they take a side, just that they realise there are several angles to this issue and reflect that in their coverage. The response? Thanks for the input, but nothing changes.

So I don't know what anyone else here thinks about this, but it looks to me as if the public are, on the one hand, not being given balanced information about health matters in order to make critical choices in their lives: and on the other hand, being progressively deprived of access to normal, natural and necessary resources for a healthy life.

It seems like a strange coincidence that ridiculous new guidelines on vitamin D were introduced just before the annual flu season. There seems to be a lot of research recently finding that nutrients have no health benefits. For example, a colleague recently waved unde my nose a paper declaring that selenium doesn't cure prostate cancer. Well I never imagined that it did, but work like this is surely grist to the mill for forces that would like to see us belittled to the benefit of big pharma. My colleague's point was surely that it's a waste of time looking for health anywhere but medicine. Well, he's wrong. More importantly, we still need selenium, whatever we think it does for us.

Meanwhile, Roche actually 'lost' the data they had on Tamiflu, so there is no certainty that they ever found it to be of benefit before sending it to market. GSK recently killed 12 children in Argentina in a vaccine trial - and didn't even halt the trial. Yet from the regular media, you could be forgiven for thinking it was the alternatives who were trying to fleece everybody with ineffective and dangerous treatments, irresponsible practice and overpriced therapies. Can this distorted impression really have come about from open-minded enquiry alone?

I won't begin to suggest it is a conspiracy, why all of this is coming about is a huge subject in itself. And that would be to deny the often heroic efforts of many very decent people in every field of health. Suffice to say there is a lot of history, politics, vested interests and sheer social momentum going on, and I do not know how it all fits together.

What I am sure of, is that when our rights to the basic necessities of life - and to make our own choices about our health, and to do things that people have done through the ages without harm to others, and to make a fair living while contributing to our communities - are being stripped away, then this is a form of intolerable oppression.

Of course, the World Bank once tried to insist that Bolivia privatise its water supply. It was proposed to make it illegal for people to collect rainwater from their own roofs, and when the price of water shot up and people started getting cut off, the result was riots. So there are limits to how far corporations and governments can go before people decide enough is enough. The question is; will anybody here feel as passionate about St John's Wort, Acupuncture, high-dose vitamins and chelated minerals as the Bolivians do about water?

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CarolineN
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I do so agree kvdp. It is a serious business for anybody who has any interest in the health of the nation at heart. Your post is eloquent and absolutely to the point.

I recently attended a talk on this subject by one of the researchers for a small highly ethical supplement company. He is one of those who has been lobbying the EC. On meeting the top man, the small delegation was asked what they were there about. They explained and were somewhat non-plussed by his next question: "Who are the biggest lobbyists I see? Second biggest are the banks - who are the top lobbyists and who give the most support to the EU outside of the member countries' donations?" and his answer - "Big Pharma." His comment was that however justified our request, and however well supported by the populace, we have very little chance at all against the pharmaceutical lobby. In fact none whatsoever as far as he was concerned.

A populace that is ill for lack of balanced nutrients because of modern food production and processing is going to 'need' pharmaceutical intervention - probably for the rest of their lives which is what fills pharma's bank balance. If there is no means of righting this imbalance of nutrients and ever-tighter restrictions on what any of us who are trying to help people with more natural forms of healing, then it appears we are returning rapidly to the situation of the Middle Ages where herbalists were burned as witches - only it was the Church who was Big Brother then.

It leaves me feeling considerably helpless in this situation. If I was a lot younger I'd probably try to set up a crusade for the freedom of choice for medical care, but sadly I have neither the strength or the energy to do this. I have supported campaigns like . Writing to your MP is probably the only way we can get this bill thrown out, but I'm not too hopeful unfortunately.

Oh and as for selenium - you can tell your friend that in Finland they have been spraying selenium on their crops and reduced the number of heart attacks by 50%! It needs to be done here in UK too as this country is also short of selenium.

As you say it is a huge subject and this "need" for regulation is getting out of hand. Trouble is Napoleonic law is getting the upper hand (guilty until proved innocent) over our traditional law (innocent until proved guilty) - and with that the problems arise.

Time to let someone else have their say.

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kvdp
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Hi Caroline
all of us can and should stand up for our rights under natural law any way we are able, at any time that we become able.

For example, I will continue to make recommendations for my friends, family and patients based on their health needs as I understand from my training and from the science, and the best advice I can obtain. If it's correct and effective now, it will be correct in the future, a European directive doesn't change nature's laws.

I will continue to work to source the best quality supplies I think are needed, as long as I am able. This need not take a huge amount of energy above what I already employ. If a vitamin is safe and necessary now, it will always be safe and necessary.

In the meantime, I am trying to find out more about the various European directives. At the moment, I have come across a lot of confusing information about vitamins, and not much about herbal medicines. I know the herbalists are campaigning for state regulation to overcome this. This looks to me like out of the frying pan and into the fire, so I wonder what other approaches are being proposed.

In the meantime, though, it's beginning to look like the middle ages where healers risked persecution as witches for helping the sick.

If anybody else has any solid information that can help make the picture clearer, please post it here. There is a fair amount of alarmist and inaccurate information also, and that does the cause no good whatsoever.

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Reiki Pixie
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Hi

I've been told by a good authority that legal action with paid lawyers is fighting against this EU reg:

Best wishes for the new year

RP

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sportstherapy
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there has been a few threads going back a couple of years on this matter, here is one

Basically, the laws surrounding food and all types of supplements are already in place. Strangely enough, the US have bowed down to EU pressure (!!??) and have implemented it too.......which tells me that bigger forces are at work (big pharma).

Funnily enough the laws were opposed by Lib-Dems and Conservatives but supported by Labour (when they were in power), so maybe we should lobby them to get it repealed.

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KinFed
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The Dept of Health has said that 'the regulation of practitioners using unlicensed herbal medicines will lie with the Health Professions Council as a statutory regulator'. [DLMURL] http://www.cnhc.org.uk/pages/newsManager.cfm?page_id=2&news_id=83[/DLMURL]

This is a link to a list of licensed remedies as of Feb 9th

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sportstherapy
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all is not rosy in the HPC camp

If you look at all the opposition that HPC stat regs has in many professions, its no wonder the govt are trying to get things through without proper consultations.

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Heinz
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Good news from across the Atlantic?

I just came across a couple of interesting messages while clearing my inbox:

The first is [url]the Bolen Report of March 20th[/url]. Health Canada were then in the midst of being sued by Truehope Nutritional Support over Kafka-esque oppression of their work. According to Tim Bolen, Health Canada were in big trouble. I don't know the outcome.

The important lessons are these: common law decisions anywhere have sway in other commonlaw countries (where a right is automatic until a law is made to take it away). There is no evidence of harm from the manufacture and supply of most natural medicines, and this is important in Common Law. That breach of the letter of the law can be defended by a sincere attempt to promote or achieve a higher social good than the law permits. And that there is inherent injustice according to common law principles in a system that does not have a mechanism of defence, the 'Due Process' defence.

In other words, it's not enough to say that supplements can be permitted following a testing process, if in fact there is no way that the testing process is in practice achievable for a procedural reason (eg far too expensive and complicated for a small manufacturer to manage). The only exception would be where there is existing evidence of harm.

[Incidentally, Tim Bolen also has an interesting site, [url]Quackpot Watch[/url], where he details the true nature and history of the Skeptics phenomenon. According to Bolen, it is the result of an organised campaign by medical interests in the USA to promote their own commercial interests. The campaign may have taken on a life of its own now - or not.]

The second piece of news is from [url]the Alliance for Natural Health USA[/url]. This is about the 'free speech about science act' in the USA. Again, this may be slightly out of date.

This will overturn oppressive rules that prevent claims being made on products when there is a sound basis for the claim. For example, to mention on the label of a bottle of water that it might prevent dehydration (a 'medical condition'), might be illegal because it is a claim of health benefit, and water is not a licenced pharmaceutical. This bill going through recognises the stupidity of such rules. Which means that a packet of cherries labelled 'contains vitamin c, important for maintenance of health and prevention of scurvy', or vitamin D tablets 'prevents cancer' and 'more effective against flu than vaccination' will at last be allowed.

All very interesting.

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Heinz
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all is not rosy in the HPC camp

If you look at all the opposition that HPC stat regs has in many professions, its no wonder the govt are trying to get things through without proper consultations.

Sportstherapy, very interesting. I would urge anyone to take 10 mins to read and digest this.

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Reiki Pixie
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Hi

Was reading this article this morning:

basically £90,000 has been rised to fund legal action against the EU herbal directive

RP

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sportstherapy
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so are there any therapists using herbal medicines who are actually in favour of HPC regs?

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Severena
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Hello

I am just about the start a Degree in medial herbalism. I was worried about doing 3 years then not been able to practice but my course has been approved by the National Institute of medical herbalists. They are happy about the regulation.
I am as well when you know why. To gain credibility in the field they want people to be on approved courses then you register and get a pin number to practice. It is very much like a nurse having to register and a doctor.

For the world of complementary practice to continue and gain credibility I do feel more regulation will aid the practice and not squash it. It will get rid of charlatans, been more affordable to go on courses as providers will have to start looking to bring it to more colleges and having accessibility.

More people will trust and know more about these treatments as more people will know about them due to regulation. doctors will accept more and more therapies as they will have people on courses working to a high standard using evidence based research.

I think it is a good thing as long as there is a balance and it does not go to strict you cannot find a practitioner

Blessings

Helen x

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Fadette
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KVDP, your comments has struck me at heart. I dont have anything useful to add here, I am just coming onto this thread to say thank you for sharing your knowledge and opinions.

I is scary and very grim if indeed Big Pharma and Monsento are intent on controling food in developped countries, leaving people weak from nutritients-deficient food and needing pharmaceutical companies for the drugs (and I imagine, have to pay for them too) that would "treat" their illnesses. what with fluoride in water, Im wondering if it is humanly possible for people who probably have families and sleep soundly at night to draw such dark schemes. I so hope all this stays as pure conspiracy therory, because if it isnt, there is a urgent need to act.

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Annax
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For those of you that do use herbal medicine/remedies/supplements and for those who believe that we should have the right to choose whether or not to take them for ourselves, the ban has started for all those products that didn't get through the expensive selection process. Although this may take time to implement and some more pro natural governments may not implement at all, there is a petition here going to the european commission and all EU governments.

If you believe we have a right to choose for ourselves please follow the link below and sign the petition:

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Heinz
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There was a reply here earlier with a link to the Avaaz petition, but it seems to have gone - has it been deleted, and why?

Incidentally, thanks for posting it. I have already signed, but others might like to. Other sources worth reviewing are the Alliance for Natural Health.

A crucial point about this is that the medical herbalists are now campaigning for state regulation. So whether this drives them out of practice, or into the hands of government, either way whoever benefits from this rule cannot lose. The Barber-surgeons - after 700 years of independent service - eventually had to choose between hairdressing and medical school: and soon the medical herbalists will have to obtain prescription rights or else be purveyors of nice-smelling shampoo.

And who benefits? It would be standard to say 'big pharma', but even before that, this is a feature of the creeping European project, which will ulitmately see the abolition of British common law by stealth. What should interest us here is what it says about our liberty in general, not just in our own area of special interest.

In our constitution, a British subject has inherent liberty until a law is made that takes it away. Napoleonic law, however, means that subjects on the continent have no rights, except those granted by the state. Hence a British law on natural medicines would have to demonstrate harm before making a restriction, in Europe there is no such constitutional need. The fact that there is now discussion of exemptions for products in historical use (ie more than 15 years out of 30) means that we have already lost our rights to do as we think best and the Napoleonic version applies. European harmonisation is actually bypassing our consitution, in fact our MPs here in Britain are failing in their oaths to the state to protect it.

Furthermore, what happens is that every kind of human activity is being specified in huge detail, and large structures appear around those specifications, so that even when an activity is technically still legal, in practice, it is perversely difficult to try and work outside of the various frameworks.

Importantly, laws in Europe are not created by a democratic process, but by think tanks or unelected forums. Hence law arises out of the interests of the members of these forums, not out of the concerns of MEPs or their constituents. These forums then send their new rules to the parliament to be voted on, and the MEPs themselves are merely 'voting monkeys'. They may have literally hundreds of items to vote on in a single hour of sitting, and they are so overwhelmed by this deluge that they admit they find it literally impossible to get their heads around the implications of everything on which they are voting.

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Annax
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Yes, I posted the link to the avaaz petition, where's it gone?? Isn't it relevant to a natural health oriented website??

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Heinz
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Never mind - here it is again:

(If this is in some way in breach of forum guidelines could we please be told why?)

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Celia
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Hiya Heinz and Annax - I have fallen foul of this in the past as you aren't allowed to post links to petitions...

But I am sure giving the name of a site and the topic - most people will find it themselves....
🙂

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Heinz
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Thanks for the explanation Celia. I wonder why that is? Oh well, I promise I won't post any more.

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Annax
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I can understand that if it's an unrelated petition but, this EU directive affects quite a lot of us here and is reated to our right to choose the form of medicine we wish to use. i thought this was a health related website.

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Energylz
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* moderators hat on *

Sorry guys and gals, it is forum policy that no petitions are permitted on the forums, even if they relate to complementary health.

In the past we had a spate of people posting petitions for all sorts of things just because one person had posted a petition and everyone else thought it was ok to do the same, even though they was tenuously linked to the topics on HP. The purpose of the forums is for discussion and the petitions were just taking focus away from that, so the admin team decided that petitions would not be permitted.

It is however ok for someone to post the link to the petition as one of their 2 permitted links in their 4 lines of signature, however you must not direct people to the link either with wording in a post or in the signature itself.

That's the way it is and we have to stick to one rule for all I'm afraid.

* moderators hat off *

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Heinz
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Don't worry Giles, those are the rules of engagement and I accept them.

As a point of interest, Alliance for Natural Health has a wealth of information and discussion on this and many issues. Anyone reading it who then wishes to take action can click through to the AVAAZ petition directly from there.

.

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Heinz
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Well, I did just provide a link to a hugely important site called Alliance for Natural Health. This is not, repeat not, a petition site.

ANH does contain much vital information relating directly to the subject matter of this thread, a subject that is of huge significance to us all, and especially to HP members. There are many reasons to direct HP members to it.

ANH does also contain links to yet another site, which happens to host petitions. And I made mention of this fact, but I did not link to it. I repeat, I did not link to any petition site.

My post was deleted.

I accept that I may have challenged the spirit of the rule. I would also claim that this overzealous enforcement is breaking with the spirit of the HP community.If anyone wants to find Alliance for Natural Health, or the petition site, AVAAZ, they can just google, find out more, and take action.

Thanks
Heinz

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Heinz
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Well, I have had two posts deleted that were relevant, moreover I have been asked by the Mods not to discuss these decisions in public. I find it sad that it has been felt necessary to slap me with a 'super injunction' over a matter of relevant fact.

Apparently there is a word beginning with 'p' and ending in 'etition' that is not acceptable here on HP, or at least using it in any meaningful way is banned. As far as I know, nobody has objected to my posts or complained that they are irrelevant, but if this is not the case, please feel free to tell me, publicly or otherwise. If anyone wants these deleted posts back, or objects to this policy, please tell the mods.

As far as I know it is NOT against the rules to mention a moderation decision, hence I will be further disappointed if this post here is now removed.

In the meantime, to keep it relevant, I'll finish by rewording the essence of the deleted posts in hopefully an acceptable manner:

The Alliance of Natural Health have loads of infromation on this subject on their website, searchable by google. Whether or not they know of any surveys or action campaigns on the matter, I could not say.

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CarolineN
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Heinz, I do so agree with your post no 17, and kvdp's post no 4, and I signed up against the initiative ages ago - whether it will do any good I don't know. I think it is reprehensible how our legal system is being systematically undermined when the EU started out as a trade agreement. The take-over is all but done - and few even notice!!!

The media brain-wash the geneal public with statements about this ban being for the safety of the individual when it totally ignores the fact that the third greatest cause of death in patients is medical interventions that are reported - that is, after cancer and heart disease. THAT is the most appalling thing of all. And how often are the side effects of drugs (pharmaceuticals) listed that read like a medical dictionary of serious illnesses, including death - a somewhat serious side effect in point of fact - that is swept under the carpet. ..... Dear, dear, we cant be making an issue of that can we - let's stop people taking vitamins, minerals and herbs instead - we can't have patients getting better, can we ,,,,,

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Heinz
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Of course, CarolineN, this is the crucial difference between common law and Napoleonic law. Under common law, we should be able to say 'you can't ban it without evidence of harm'. But under Napoleonic law, the tendency is to say 'we can't do it, we don't have permission'; whether or not there is any harm in natural medicines is irrelevant, when the main objective is control.

What make me very curious about all of this is why, when Joanna Lumley campaigns publicly over justice for Gurkhas (quite right too), we don't see Gillian MacKieth and Patrick Holford kicking up a fuss on the GMTV sofa, or Holland and Barratt and the big-wigs from Whole-Foods campaigning in the papers for justice, liberty and access to natural products. The silence is worrying.

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sportstherapy
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Of course, CarolineN, this is the crucial difference between common law and Napoleonic law. Under common law, we should be able to say 'you can't ban it without evidence of harm'. But under Napoleonic law, the tendency is to say 'we can't do it, we don't have permission'; whether or not there is any harm in natural medicines is irrelevant, when the main objective is control.

What make me very curious about all of this is why, when Joanna Lumley campaigns publicly over justice for Gurkhas (quite right too), we don't see Gillian MacKieth and Patrick Holford kicking up a fuss on the GMTV sofa, or Holland and Barratt and the big-wigs from Whole-Foods campaigning in the papers for justice, liberty and access to natural products. The silence is worrying.

I think you need to look at who owns these companies, I believe that H&B and Holfords company are owned by pharmaceuticals, Gillian doesnt say too much anymore, after the whole Dr business.

I was looking at a newsletter I wrote back in 2001 asking people to lobby their MPs over this potential ban, and its come very subtly and slowly, but its here!

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