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Health: Complementary and Alternative Medicines

House of Lords written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Lord Wigley Lord Wigley Plaid Cymru

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of the European Directive on traditional herbal medicinal products, herbal products will still be allowed to be sold in the United Kingdom as food supplements.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

A herbal product which falls outside the definition of a medicine and which is sold as a food or food supplement is unaffected by the European directive on traditional herbal medicinal products. In the United Kingdom, the decision as to whether a product falls within the definition of a medicinal product is made by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on a case by case basis using the definition of that term contained in Article 1 of directive 2001/83/EC together with relevant legal precedent and the MHRA's own published guidance. The European directive on traditional herbal medicinal products did not amend that definition.

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