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Prince Charles urges government to protect alternative medicine December 6, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine.
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Prince Charles is lobbying the Government to protect the future of alternative medicine from new EU rules and ensure the safety of its patients.

The Prince, a long-standing enthusiast of complementary therapy, has held talks with Andy Burnham, the health Secretary, to persuade him to introduce safeguards amid a crackdown by the EU that could prevent anyone who is not a registered health practitioner from selling remedies.

The Government is consulting on the EU plan, due to come into force in April 2011.

Campaigners are calling for a licensing system to be established earlier amid fears that small practitioners could be forced to close under the EU directive.

They also want “reputable” practitioners to be licensed sooner than 2011 to protect patients.

Prince Charles’s intervention puts him at odds with eminent scientists who regard Chinese herbalism as “quackery”.

The Royal College of Physicians is against statutory regulation on the grounds it would make such treatments “respectable”.

Despite Britons spend about £1.6 billion a year on alternative remedies, there is currently no official system of regulation in the UK, meaning anyone can treat a patient.

The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health charity has submitted evidence to the Government warning that failure to regulate will put patients at risk.

Dr Michael Dixon, medical director of the foundation, said Prince Charles did not see the submission, adding: “We fear that we will see a black market in herbal products.”

The Prince’s Duchy Originals range is not affected by the new EU regulations.

A Clarence House spokeswoman confirmed that Prince Charles had a “routine” meeting with Mr Burnham.

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