There is an urgent need for concerted action and a unified voice, particularly one based on the presentation of powerful scientific arguments and peer-reviewed science, to safeguard both the natural health products used by the practitioner sector as well as the practice of nutritional, functional, integrative and herbal medicine and other non-drug therapies.
We are one of very few organisations worldwide, able to represent the interests of practitioners at an international level. For many years now we have been building strategic relationships and collaborative links with different groups, which include practitioner and other natural health organisations around the world. There is great strength to be gained in numbers, and working cooperatively as a united effort offers the best chance of change. As with any collaboration, it is unlikely that there will be agreement on all issues. Instead, we consider it important that there is a sharing of a common view, so that the combined output is greater than that which would have been achieved if all parties had worked independently. We believe that if a concerted, international effort to resist regulatory and other such pressures is not made now and in the coming months, many forms of natural therapy may be lost, not only to current generations, but also to future ones.
Overcoming challenges to natural healthcare: summary points
Regulatory restrictions on therapeutic supplements & natural products are escalating worldwide. Europe’s regulatory model is acting as a key template for other countries & regions, including for the development of Codex guidelines.
There are increasing parallels between the food supplement safety evaluation systems and health claim substantiation requirements in the USA with those being employed in Europe. This is probably due to increased collaboration between the US Food & Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority, which was reinforced by an agreement signed in July 2007 between the two agencies.
Our remit includes evaluating existing regulatory approaches for practitioner-style supplements and natural products, as well as for clinical practice involving their use. We also propose more appropriate and legally proportionate approaches, as well as using legal grounds to challenge specific areas of legislation.
ANH-Intl has exposed, through extensive campaign and lobby action as well as peer-reviewed publications, how inappropriate risk analysis methods are being used to bring in unnecessarily onerous regulation worldwide. And in doing so, have been proactive in proposing and designing new, more appropriate, alternative risk/benefit methodologies.
To better facilitate the key research necessary to focus policy change towards a more appropriate scientific framework for more natural and sustainable approaches to healthcare, the international ANH Scientific & Medical Collaboration (ANHSMC) will soon be fully operational. The collaboration unites key scientists, doctors, integrated/functional medicine practitioners and academics worldwide. The initial ANHSMC project aims to develop a new scientific approach, based on ecological modelling, to objectively determine clinical experience following the adoption of multi-faceted treatments.
Collaboration with ANH International: Mutual benefits
What we can offer your organisation and your members:
Practitioner members may of course access valuable information through engagement with our extensive and resourceful websites (ANH International & ANH-USA). You may also visit us on Facebook: Alliance for Natural Health International and Alliance for Natural Health USA, and follow us on Twitter: ANH International and ANH-USA.
ANH-International features include:
- Information about our important campaigns
- Natural health news and features - a valuable resource for practitioners and their patients/clients
- Video/images/audio section with recordings of talks, interviews, presentations from key international speakers, which is helpful for keeping up to date with accurate, scientifically robust and fully referenced information.
- An extensive document archive cataloging the last 10 years legislative history affecting the natural health sector
- A ‘Get Involved’ section for practitioners who feel strongly about protecting their practices as well as future-proofing the natural health sector for upcoming generations
- The option to stay bang up to date by subscribing to our latest news, via weekly ‘eAlert’, delivered directly to your inbox.
A dedicated practitioner newsletter is sent out regularly to enable our collaborating practitioner organisations to keep their members up to date on regulatory and legislative changes and challenges. We also publicise your events and conferences on our website and post articles, documents or anything else of appropriate interest you would like communicated. Documents in languages other than English can be uploaded onto special ‘translation’ pages on our site and we frequently supply experts to lecture and presentation at your conferences. We understand that many of the individuals running practitioner organisations are passionate volunteers with limited time. Collaborating with ANH-Intl offers your organisation an additional dimension in a complex and specialised area, so that your executive committee and members can take a more proactive and involved role in shaping the future for your industry.
How your organisation and your members can help us:
ANH-Intl is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation, that has been wholly funded on donations since its inception in 2002. We encourage collaborating organisations to consider promoting our work to their members with a view to individual practitioner members making a regular donation. Our valuable work can not exist without the generosity and ongoing financial commitment of our supporters, so your organisation’s support is appreciated. Any additional support in the form of publicity, editorial space in your newsletters and the use of our logo and link on your website is also very welcome.
Through our collaboration with practitioner organisations, we are effectively working with thousands of aligned medical doctors, complementary health practitioners, health-product suppliers and consumers worldwide. We are at the forefront of the much-needed paradigm shift in healthcare, and need your support. Please join us! For more information contact our Outreach and Communications Officer, Melissa Smith on [email protected] and start a conversation today.