China Daily highlights the impacts of EU herb law on traditional Chinese medicine

An article by Robert Verkerk PhD, commissioned by the China Daily, summarises the challenges facing TCM in the UK and Europe.  The China Daily followed up with a further article, featuring comments by Rob Verkerk and Professor Man Fong Mei, chairman of the Chinese Medical Council UK.

UK Medicines Regulator ends ‘sell-through’ of unregistered herbal medicines

Nutraingredients reports that the UK medicines regulator, the MHRA, has announced that transitional arrangements for the ‘sell-through’ of unregistered herbal medicines will cease on 30th April 2014The article quotes Rob Verkerk extensively, and suggests big impacts on the herbal sector next year, including on the availability of some types of botanical food supplements.

World protests against the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Resistance is growing to the looming,and conspicuously opaque trade agreement — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Protests have so far occurred in the USA, Japan and Malaysia.  The text of the TPP is classified, save for the 600 corporate advisors who are believed to have had access to it.  Worse still, it’s set to be ‘fast tracked’, which will limit US Congressional input to a ‘quick up or down vote’.  Many concerned citizens and international groups are raising their objections, and an international day of action is planned for December 3rd 2013 “Against neoliberal trade and the new wave of toxic agreements”.

Bad news for big biotech and GMOs

The Ecologist reports on 2013 crop trial results from a US non-GM seed company based in Linden, Indiana. The company’s "Non-GM premium hybrid seeds used in the testing, produced 3 to 10 more bushels per acre compared to standard GM corn hybrid varieties".

Meanwhile, it’s also being reported that a new German grand coalition government policy draft seeks “Tougher regulations in the European Union for labeling of meat from farm animals that have eaten genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)”.

French vaccine authority appeals for calm after Gardasil scare

Finally, there are reports from France about a Gardasil vaccine 'scare', after an 18 year-old French woman filed a legal case against Sanofi Pasteur MSD, Gardasil's French distributor.  It appears that the woman was vaccinated with Gardasil when she was 15, and was subsequently diagnosed as suffering from "Either an acute form of encephalomyelitis, a generalised inflammation of the immune system, or multiple sclerosis".  Following media attention on the story, the chair of the national committee that oversees vaccinations has been moved to appeal for calm.


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