It is increasingly looking like the Brazilian government's current attempt to medicalise natural products could be one of the most damaging regulatory changes for a natural products industry to occur in any country.

To some, the strength of the Brazilian pharmaceutical industry, and Brazil's incredibly rich natural product heritage, especially linked to the rainforests, makes Brazil an ideal target for hugely draconian legislation. The proposed changes, unless stopped, will put the control of natural products ultimately in the hands of the pharmaceutical industry.

The targeting of bee products

Up to 700 companies that comprise a thriving bee products industry will be impacted, many fatally, if the regulatory changes go through as planned on 1 January 2009.

These regulatory changes will directly affect all forms of propolis that have shown staggering results in supporting the immune system, as well as acting as an adjunct to natural or integrative cancer therapies.

The regulations make any propolis product sold in capsule or tablet a medicine—a regime that is cost prohibitive to the vast majority of natural product manufacturers that are based on small businesses. 

The ANH will be providing an update about these dramatic events with further detail within a few days.