In a glorious move I never thought I would see, it seems that sense is at last prevailing in the onslaught natural medicine has been dealt over the past few years. Voting recently, just 4 out of 641 MEPs agreed to sign off the funding of the European Medicines Agency [EMA], the body responsible for the most recent herb regulations that have had smaller companies going to the wall and consumer choice vastly limited.
Well the fact that they mentioned ‘grave concerns’ about the agency’s workings no fewer than five times in the report gives us a clue!
This quote from a report by the Alliance for Natural Health pretty much sums it up:
“With this report, MEPs have stated in black-and-white terms that the EMA is acting to promote the interests of the very pharmaceutical interests it is meant to be regulating on behalf of EU citizens – misusing citizens’ money in the process! In other words, the EMA is as corrupt as they come, and its accounts are not worth the cost of the paper they are printed on.”
Didn’t we all say that? Many have suspected for a long time that some of the daft decisions coming out of Europe decimating our chances of choosing natural healthcare options smacked of the agencies involved being in the pay of the pharmaceutical companies. It is nice to have that suspicion realised for once – and pretty conclusively so – instead of being accused all the time of conspiracy theories! Of course, it had to come down to money. Would the story have come out if it weren’t for MEPs questioning budgets, or am I just being cynical there?
There are indeed rumblings of change, thank goodness. The well-respected and independent Cochrane Collaboration has already accused the EMA of withholding clinical evidence from trials to benefit drug companies, and MEP and citizen groups are starting to form and question new rules like the Health Claims regulations.
You can also read the original report from the EU Observer here.
All I can say is ‘at flippin’ last’. As a practitioner of natural medicine and a user of it, safety is absolute priority, but to create this climate of misinformation, false fear and downright profiteering for Big Pharma is just wrong. Stand up for your rights if you want to keep them.
- Drug regulators accused of risking patient safety (guardian.co.uk)