EU bans imports of herbal medicines
Herbal medicinal products, most of which have been sold as food supplements for decades in the EU market, are no longer allowed unless the sellers obtain a licence.
In a press release, the European Commission said that only medicinal products that have been registered or authorised can remain on the EU market after May 1, as the seven-year transition period of a 2004 European Union (EU) herbal directive expired Saturday.
“We have now reached the end of a long transition period which has given producers and importers of traditional herbal medicinal products the necessary time to show their products have an acceptable level of safety and efficacy,” said John Dalli, European Commissioner for health and consumer policy.

The EU traditional herbal medicinal products directive passed in 2004 introduced a simplified registration procedure for traditional herbal products to obtain a medicine licence without going through safety tests and clinical trials as regular chemical drugs.
Herbal medicines refer to medicinal products that are made from substances abstracted from plants, while traditional herbal medicinal products must have been in use for at least 30 years, including at least 15 years in the EU, according to the directive.
It, however, stipulates that applicants have to provide documents showing the product is not harmful in the specified condition of use as well as evidence that the product at least has a 30-year history of safe use, including 15 years in the EU.
Courtesy: www.nation.co.ke
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