Saturday, 12 September 2009

Another one for the MHRA!

Scanning through THE TIMES on Thursday, September, 10 (2009) I encountered the following headline. Just try to imagine my horror as a law abiding herbalist when encountering such extreme medical claims!

Healthy eating taken to a life-affirming new level with recipes for beating prostate cancer.

...and the first couple of paragraphs state...

It is probably the most delicious cancer treatment yet devised. A recipe book built around foods known to help fight prostate cancer is the first example of "evidence-based cooking", its autor said yesterday.
The Prostate Care Cookbook has been written by scientists for people with prostate cancer or at risk of developing it. "There is growing scientific evidence that strongly suggests that diets rich in certain foods can help prevent this disease or its spread", the authors write. "For those living with this condition, a controlled diet may be the only means of active treatment".
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, but aggressive treatments can often be worse than the disease, said Margaret Rayman, professor of nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey and lead author of the book.

Let's just check the terminology used here..."a delicious cancer treatment". What sort of claim is that? Yes, it's a medical claim. Why do they claim that? Well, because this book is written about "Evidence based cooking"...scientific, clinical proof that foods are medicinal just because they are and those medicinal properties are well studied and observed by scientists, doctors etc...just the kind people that wrote this book. Are they not aware of the TRADITIONAL EUROPEAN HERBAL MEDICINE DIRECTIVE? If not, then they are in big trouble, and about to be taxed big time by the MHRA in pursuance of this directive that says that all herbs, and that includes various fruits, seeds, oils, vegetables etc if sold for their medicinal properties have to be registered through the very expensive route of the Directive. It also means that all these "medicines" have to be packaged in pharmaceutical style. The book itself would have to be banned because no medical claims are allowed. We can not advertise drugs.

Just taking a look at one of the recipes they recommend from the book we find sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, pepper, and basil. All well known herbal medicines! Tomatoes in fact belong to the deadly nightshade family. Garlic, tomato, basil and pepper are all found not just as over the counter whole foods but in various herbal supplements...tablets, capsules, tinctures etc. The beauty of this book of course is that it highlights yet again the fact that the MHRA/Europe are making herbalists pay to register their herbs just because we use herbs and sell herbs for their medicinal qualities and this is nothing more than a money making scam and a tax on the fact that some foods are medicinal just because they are, not because herbalists or the MHRA say so. Herbalists do nothing to change these foods into pharmaceuticals...they just are, we use them because they are...and now it appears scientists are using the evidence from research (the kind used and quoted by the MHRA) to treat the dreadful disease that is prostate cancer using a cook book!

Well, the people that wrote this book better look out, they have no idea what they have done...the book will have to banned as soon as it hits the shelves in order to avoid cancer patients self prescribing in a haphazard and dangerous fashion. All the foods mentioned will have to be packaged appropriately into tamper evident, blister packs or bottles complete with braille printing for the visually impaired. Just imagine a blind cancer patient overdosing on tomato sauce due to inadequate labelling. How would the MHRA live with themselves? Each pack would contain a strictly limited quantity of the medicinal food and I wonder, being anti-cancer agents surely they would be better off on prescription only. Great if you live in Wales, prescriptions are free. A patient information leaflet with strict instructions as to the use, storage and appropriate dosage together with potential side-effects and interactions must be included along with, I hope, the instruction to eat...three times daily...

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