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Industry and Education

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:12 pm on 21st November 1994.

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Photo of David Tredinnick David Tredinnick , Bosworth 6:12 pm, 21st November 1994

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. We need to pursue fraud and bureaucracy in the European Union with considerable vigour.

Another aspect of the European Union that alarms our constituents and hon. Members on both sides of the House is that Europe may spring an unpleasant surprise, such as the alleged demise of the British banger, the crisp that has to be black, or some other Euro-madness.

A week ago all those involved in the herbal industry held their breath when a proposal that could have devastated that industry was put forward. It could have forced it to shut down, with the loss of 3,000 to 5,000 jobs. Herbalists would have been unable to practise, retail shops would have lost 20 per cent. of their business, and manufacturers and service providers would have been similarly affected.

That proposal comes at a time when the popularity of alternative and complementary medicine is on the up. Every chemist now stocks homeopathic preparations, the Chiropractors Act 1994 and the Osteopaths Act 1993 are on the statute book, and more and more people are turning to Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

Rather than face such a threat from Europe, the Department of Health should try to integrate alternative and complementary medicine, in all its aspects, in the health service. We should then save a fortune in health costs.