ANH

European Commission reneges on assistance to European herbal practitioners

Posted on 25 grudnia 2010. Filed under: ANH, ANH fight for true, ANH walka o prawdę, lekarka mongolska, lekarz Enji, lekarz Enkhjargal Dovchin, medycyna mongolska, medycyna tybetańska, mongolska lekarka, TCM, walka o prawdę | Tagi: , , |


Pressure from European Union (EU) citizens forced a recent meeting between Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the European Commission (EC) to discuss the impact of the EC’s directive on herbal medicines which will be fully implemented EU-wide as of 1 May 2011. Unfortunately, the meeting, held at the European Parliament on the 29th November 2010, showed how unwilling the EC is to follow through on a pledge it made back in 2008. The pledge was made in the Commission’s report (COM(2008) 584 final) on its first four years of experience with the herbal directive, known as the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive. In the report, the Commission specifically recognised that the directive was not suitable for holistic traditions, such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Crucially, it also indicated it would consider the feasibility of an entirely new regulatory framework for such traditions.

Members of the European Parliament got the opportunity to seek answers on the THMPD from Andrzej Jan Rys, Director of Public Health and Risk Assessment at the Directorate General for Health & Consumer Policy. The meeting was called as a result of concerns voiced through many hundreds of communications sent to MEPs, whose constituents are worried that thousands of herbal products will become illegal from 1 May 2011.

You could well have been one of those people who contacted their MEP about this flawed Directive – and if you were, congratulations on your efforts that are now forcing the European Commission to answer some difficult questions! If we keep up the pressure, we are hoping to force the Commission to reconsider its view. If the Commission refuses to budge, it will have to be answerable to its actions in court.

While it’s great to see there’s life left in the European democratic process, we can’t pretend that we’re not somewhat disheartened to hear the Commission’s response. Green Party MEP, Bas Eickhout, when questioning the Commission over the possibility of an extension of the transition phase and hence a delay to the full implementtion of the Directive, was told simply, and unequivocally, by Mr Rys of the European Commission: “We do not plan any postponement of the deadline”.

In a bid to help the Commission maintain a previously made commitment, Mr Eickhout also asked the European Commission if it was going to consider the feasibility of a new regulatory framework, as alluded to in its experience report of 2008. In response, Mr Rys simply declared that no separate regulatory framework was planned for TCM or Ayurveda, and he did not mention any other traditions.

Mr Eickhout went on to question the Commission over the controversial 30-year rule, which requires that 15 years’ safe usage within the EU is demonstrated out of a total of 30 years, as a means of establishing the safety of traditional medicines under the THMPD. Mr Rys indicated that he understood that the EC was not assessing the 15-year requirement in any way; in fact, the Commission’s priorities were to revise the clinical trials directive and veterinary medicinal product legislation!

It’s worth remembering that the THMPD was never intended as a regulatory framework for practitioners of herbal medicine. The directive clearly states its intent to be a framework for manufactured products sold directly to the end consumer, for minor ailments, without the supervision of a medical practitioner. So what about practitioners? Since August 2008, when the Commission’s experience report was published, practitioners of herbal medicine all over Europe have seen the concluding statement in that report as a ray of light among the regulatory bleakness being foisted upon them. However, without this framework, which has been one of the three main prongs of the joint ANH/Benefyt strategy, that hope has been dashed for the time being.

This recent meeting of MEPs and the European Commission could be likened to a curate’s egg. While it is undoubtedly great news that EU citizens’ voices are being heard on the THMPD, and that serious questions are being asked by MEPs on their behalf, the outcome of the encounter with Mr Rys can be summed up in two words: no change. But change never comes overnight, so keep up the pressure – you are being heard! Persistence is the name of the game.

The Commission’s response also vindicates our decision to go to the courts to achieve a more proportionate, transparent and non-discriminatory legal framework for herbal products within the EU.

If you haven’t already considered donating, please do so now! Thank you, and season’s greetings.

 

ANH-Europe homepage
ANH Nurture Traditional Medicinal Cultures campaign page
ANH THMPD legal challenge page

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Próba zamknięcia Uniwersytetu Medycyny Chińskiej

Posted on 25 grudnia 2010. Filed under: ANH, ANH fight for true, ANH walka o prawdę, dr Enji, e-book, kodeks żywnościowy, leczenie ziołami | Tagi: , |


The views of Dick Taverne, member of the UK’s House of Lords, are well known to many of us who have natural leaning to things natural. He has, for example, rallied long and hard to promote genetically modified (GM) foods, while campaigning vociferously against natural medicine. He has been a member of both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats, was Financial Secretary to the Treasury under Harold Wilson’s Labour government, and has served on the House of Lords’ Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee. Crucially, he founded the arch-skeptic organisation Sense About Science in 2002 and remains its Chairman.

In our experience, Sense About Science is neither sensible nor particularly interested iin objective science. It is one of the loudest voices among the skeptic movement, which is well-known for misusing science to serve a corporate agenda.

Now, Lord Taverne has raised a question in the House of Lords that runs like this: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to discourage United Kingdom universities from offering Bachelor of Science degrees for courses in alternative medicines such as aromatherapy, reflexology and Chinese medicine.

Have you picked your jaw up from the floor yet? Yes, a peer of the realm thinks it appropriate that the state should intervene to prevent universities from teaching the courses they choose. Soviet Commissars could not have put it better! This is all from someone who has no training in science. His conflation of Chinese medicine, a tradition which stretches back centuries and which is one of the fastest-growing healthcare modalities in the world, with aromatherapy and reflexology, which have been somewhat less studied, can only be deliberate. It is a tactic as old as the hills, and fortunately, it seems, the other peers in the debate did not fall for it, in the main.

Read the full debate.

Do you think someone who heads up an organization as un-objective, biased, and anti-natural medicine as Sense About Science, should be trying to put pressure on universities to close down course in natural medicine?

Do you think it’s just possible that the timing of this attack might be carefully planned to coincide with the increased regulatory pressure against Chinese and Indian medicine that’s apparent as we approach the date of full implementation of the EU’s Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive in May 2011?

 

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ANH
Nurture Traditional Medicinal Cultures campaign page

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European Commission reneges on assistance to European herbal practitioners

Posted on 25 grudnia 2010. Filed under: ANH, ANH fight for true, Izrael, kodeks żywnościowy | Tagi: , , |


Pressure from European Union (EU) citizens forced a recent meeting between Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the European Commission (EC) to discuss the impact of the EC’s directive on herbal medicines which will be fully implemented EU-wide as of 1 May 2011. Unfortunately, the meeting, held at the European Parliament on the 29th November 2010, showed how unwilling the EC is to follow through on a pledge it made back in 2008. The pledge was made in the Commission’s report (COM(2008) 584 final) on its first four years of experience with the herbal directive, known as the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive. In the report, the Commission specifically recognised that the directive was not suitable for holistic traditions, such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Crucially, it also indicated it would consider the feasibility of an entirely new regulatory framework for such traditions.

Members of the European Parliament got the opportunity to seek answers on the THMPD from Andrzej Jan Rys, Director of Public Health and Risk Assessment at the Directorate General for Health & Consumer Policy. The meeting was called as a result of concerns voiced through many hundreds of communications sent to MEPs, whose constituents are worried that thousands of herbal products will become illegal from 1 May 2011.

You could well have been one of those people who contacted their MEP about this flawed Directive – and if you were, congratulations on your efforts that are now forcing the European Commission to answer some difficult questions! If we keep up the pressure, we are hoping to force the Commission to reconsider its view. If the Commission refuses to budge, it will have to be answerable to its actions in court.

While it’s great to see there’s life left in the European democratic process, we can’t pretend that we’re not somewhat disheartened to hear the Commission’s response. Green Party MEP, Bas Eickhout, when questioning the Commission over the possibility of an extension of the transition phase and hence a delay to the full implementtion of the Directive, was told simply, and unequivocally, by Mr Rys of the European Commission: “We do not plan any postponement of the deadline”.

In a bid to help the Commission maintain a previously made commitment, Mr Eickhout also asked the European Commission if it was going to consider the feasibility of a new regulatory framework, as alluded to in its experience report of 2008. In response, Mr Rys simply declared that no separate regulatory framework was planned for TCM or Ayurveda, and he did not mention any other traditions.

Mr Eickhout went on to question the Commission over the controversial 30-year rule, which requires that 15 years’ safe usage within the EU is demonstrated out of a total of 30 years, as a means of establishing the safety of traditional medicines under the THMPD. Mr Rys indicated that he understood that the EC was not assessing the 15-year requirement in any way; in fact, the Commission’s priorities were to revise the clinical trials directive and veterinary medicinal product legislation!

It’s worth remembering that the THMPD was never intended as a regulatory framework for practitioners of herbal medicine. The directive clearly states its intent to be a framework for manufactured products sold directly to the end consumer, for minor ailments, without the supervision of a medical practitioner. So what about practitioners? Since August 2008, when the Commission’s experience report was published, practitioners of herbal medicine all over Europe have seen the concluding statement in that report as a ray of light among the regulatory bleakness being foisted upon them. However, without this framework, which has been one of the three main prongs of the joint ANH/Benefyt strategy, that hope has been dashed for the time being.

This recent meeting of MEPs and the European Commission could be likened to a curate’s egg. While it is undoubtedly great news that EU citizens’ voices are being heard on the THMPD, and that serious questions are being asked by MEPs on their behalf, the outcome of the encounter with Mr Rys can be summed up in two words: no change. But change never comes overnight, so keep up the pressure – you are being heard! Persistence is the name of the game.

The Commission’s response also vindicates our decision to go to the courts to achieve a more proportionate, transparent and non-discriminatory legal framework for herbal products within the EU.

If you haven’t already considered donating, please do so now! Thank you, and season’s greetings.

 

ANH-Europe homepage
ANH Nurture Traditional Medicinal Cultures campaign page
ANH THMPD legal challenge page

Updated: 21 Dec 2010

Submitted by Sepp Hasslberger (not verified) on Wed, 22/12/2010 – 11:46.

„It’s worth remembering that the THMPD was never intended as a regulatory framework for practitioners of herbal medicine. The directive clearly states its intent to be a framework for manufactured products sold directly to the end consumer, for minor ailments, without the supervision of a medical practitioner.”

You have the solution to the problem right here. Since the THMPD was not intended as a regulatory framework for herbal practitioners, it will not touch herbal practitioners. It establishes a registration process for over-the-counter herbal medicines. Full stop.

What happens in the world of practitioners is outside the scope of the directive and any national implementation of it.

The Italians have understood this. We have, in Italy, a thriving economy of herbal practitioners and herb shops, called „erboristerie” (that’s plural of erboristeria). Herbalists have a three-year university training, and many of the shopkeepers are trained herbalists. No one expects them to pack up and go home just because the EU made a law to register herbal medicines.

I believe that we are confusing two things here. Herbal traditions including practitioners are very much alive. Herbal medicines as registered products are in trouble. The bar has been set too high, and very few have been registered. But that does not mean we should think that herbal traditions can or will be wiped out by an initiative of the EU bureaucracy to permit registration of herbal medicines under certain conditions.

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Ayurweda zagrożona wytycznymi kodeksu żywnościowego

Posted on 25 grudnia 2010. Filed under: ANH, ANH fight for true, ANH walka o prawdę, kodeks żywnościowy, leczenie ziołami, medycyna alternatywna, medycyna chińska, medycyna mongolska, medycyna naturalna | Tagi: , , , , , |


India recognises risks to Ayurveda from Europe

 

4th World Ayurveda Congress
Venue: Gayathri Vihar, Palace Grounds, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
9-13 December 2010

Around 5,000 practitioners, manufacturers, distributors and interested consumers converged on the Palace Grounds in Bengaluru, India last week.  Progressing the mission of “Ayurveda for All”, the biannual 4th World Ayurveda Congress (4th WAC) hosted an impressive and comprehensive range of keynote and plenary sessions relating to the philosophy of Ayurveda.

While much of the meeting focused on recent progress on the scientific validation and development of Ayurveda, an additional and important strand running through the meeting was the ‘globalisation’ of Ayurveda. This included detailed exploration of both the opportunities and the challenges facing Ayurveda outside its native heartland in the Indian subcontinent. It was in this latter context that ANH-Intl executive and scientific director, Dr Robert Verkerk, was invited to give one of the keynote lectures.


Main Hall, 4th World Ayurveda Congress, Palace Grounds, Bengaluru

Background to Ayurveda

The word Ayurveda is made up from two Sanskrit words—‘ayus’ meaning life and ‘veda’ meaning knowledge or science.  Simply put, Ayurveda can be described as the ‘science or knowledge of life’, which the early scholars understood to comprise the mind, body, senses and soul.  A view which is little changed today.  Professor Savrikar from Podar Medical College in Mumbai agreed that “unless a person is very happy mentally we can’t say he’s healthy”.  Hence it is not simply a traditional system of medicine, but more a complete philosophy for life.  Ayurveda encompasses a wide range of modalities including yoga, meditation, nutrition, detoxification, massage and the use of herb and mineral preparations.  The fundamentals of Ayurveda were laid down in Vedic scripts, the earliest of which, the Rig Veda, dates back 6,000 years and contains a number of ‘prescriptions’ to help overcome various ailments.  The aim of Ayurveda is to promote health and prolong life and in so doing eliminate disease and dysfunction.  The key to success involves focusing more on prevention, rather than cure, and by restoring and maintaining balance of body, mind and spirit.

Sadly in the West this body/mind/spirit balance is poorly understood by government regulators and allopathy in general.  So too are traditional medicinal cultures that are not purely concerned with the treatment and cure of disease.  The result being a situation such as the one in Europe, where this valuable tradition is being ripped apart into its component parts, legislated by different laws and inappropriately judged against the same pharmaceutical standards used for new-to-nature drugs.  Western medicine and pharmaceuticals have been around for a relative split-second in time compared to ancient traditions such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The arrogance and ignorance that appears to be shown by the European Commission and EU Member State regulators is one of the greatest travesties of our time, earning Europe the label “the dark continent for Ayurveda” by Dr Prasad from Himalaya Herbal Healthcare.  To decimate these traditions, to uphold wrongly that there is no scientific basis to their effectiveness and then to deny innovation (i.e. their continued development) is to deprive European citizens of a fundamental and basic right to health and freedom of choice.  Let alone maintain the vast tradition for future generations in Europe, one that is so well established to counter to massive burden of chronic disease which allopathic medicine is barely denting.

In India, where there is exponential growth in the generic pharmaceutical industry, there is still great confidence in the national tradition of Ayurveda.  Faced with 30 million diabetics, 100 million with cardiovascular disease and 30% of children being born of low birth weight, figures set to increase alarmingly by 2030, Ayurveda offers a low-cost, health-for-all solution.  This rapid growth in chronic diseases can be attributed largely to the substitution of traditional diets and lifestyles with western ones. Academics and Ayurvedic physicians are working together to re-instate a sustainable healthcare system that empowers the individual and is affordable for all.  Despite the number of pharma companies lured to India by the promise of cheap labour and reduced overheads, western medicine will never be in a position to offer both a healthcare system and a viable economy for the people.  In contrast, Ayurveda is not just a disease management system, but a way of life that promotes health, empowers the mind and spirit and, through herbal cultivation, offers financial sustainability too.

Despite gilding the bitter European regulatory lily in the colours of consumer protection, it’s clear that we’re again dealing with profits over people.  We hope you’ll take action to safeguard our traditional systems of medicine and join the campaign.

4th WAC

Dr Robert Verkerk, chaired and gave the keynote address in the first of two sessions entitled ‘Globalisation of Ayurveda and IPR’.  His presentation outlined the current challenges facing on Ayurveda through impending legislation in Europe.  The Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) poses a significant hurdle for many manufactured products from traditional herbal medicinal disciplines.


Dr Robert Verkerk ANH-Intl, keynote presentation, 4th World Ayurveda Congress, Bengaluru

Similar sentiments were echoed amongst the visiting dignitaries, doctors and academics to the Congress.  A selection of which follow:

“Prevention is better than cure”
“There will be no need for treatment if you use and live the principles of Ayurveda”
“Let us take Ayurveda to the top and have it not just our national pride, but our national health too”
“We have a habit of running with short-term solutions.  We need to look for long-term solutions. Ayurveda is here to stay.  We have a bright future for Indian medicine in India and the rest of the World”

Dr Verkerk appealed to the large audience to become proactive. In communicating his concern over the slowness of response by practitioners and companies involved in the Europe, he made an analogy: He said that it seemed many were sitting on deck chairs admiring the wonders of the ocean, and even after hearing that a tidal wave was due, they still sat enjoying their comfort.

Key connections were made and it seems that most leading players were still not ready to face the reality that is being presented to Ayurvedic suppliers and non-medical practitioners in Europe. Conversely, it was also clear that a few high ranked officials were very aware of the problems and were keen to see all avenues followed to help allow Ayurveda to flourish in Europe, as well as elsewhere in the world.

International Meeting

The 4th WAC was preceded by a 2-day International Delegates Assembly (IDA), held at His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar Ji’s ashram—the Art of Living Foundation—on the Kanakpura road outside Bengaluru.


Art of Living Foundation, Bengaluru, India

The IDA was hosted by the Indian government Department of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), and was opened by Dr SK Sharma, advisor to AYUSH.  There are now 260 Ayurvedic medical colleges offering degrees and post-graduate courses in India to 15,000 students.  Traditionally trained doctors number 7.5 million, their practices being served by 10,000 manufacturing units.  After 4 years of debate with the European Commission over the THMPD, the Indian Government has made little headway.  With full implementation due in May 2011, Dr Sharma argued that this legislation “is not of a scientific nature, but of a trade and political nature”.

Along with around 200 invited international delegates, Dr Rob Verkerk along with Meleni Aldridge, executive coordinator, attended on behalf of ANH-Intl.  Under the theme of ‘global recognition of Ayurveda’ dignatories and delegates outlined the advances in the practice, teaching and awareness of Ayurveda from different parts of the world.  Unfortunately, there still seem to be many in the global Ayurvedic community still unaware of the travesty taking place in Europe.  Rob Verkerk’s presentation entitled “Why urgent regulatory change is needed in Europe to safeguard the future of Ayurveda” sought to change that.


Opening ceremony at the International Delegate Assembly, Art of Living Foundation, Bengaluru, India

Further discussions focussed on the dissemination of Ayurveda globally.  Passion for this ancient holistic, lifestyle approach, that is so much more than a system of medicine, was palpable throughout.  It was refreshing to be amongst such positivity and enthusiasm and in such a tranquil setting as the Art of Living Foundation.  His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar welcomed the delegates and described how Ayurveda was again becoming central to their work in the poorest communities in India.  Volunteers from the Foundation have initiated a programme of teaching the necessary skills needed to help villagers to once again grow traditional herbal plants.  He urged us all to follow this lead internationally to safeguard the vulnerable traditional botanical species, which are most at risk of extinction through over collection.  This simple, cost-effective and sustainable strategy is proving very successful in reducing drug and alcohol addiction and improving health in the villages.


His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, Art of Living Foundation, Bengaluru, India

International delegates and government officials alike shared their personal journeys and experiences of Ayurveda.  Common to all was the immeasurable respect and inherent responsibility synonymous with accepting guardianship of such a precious and ancient philosophy.  That European legislation, in its arrogance and ignorance, may signal an end to traditional medicinal cultures is something we all need to take responsibility for preventing.  Even as western healthcare systems buckle under the spiralling costs of drug-based allopathy, governments, strongly lobbied by pharma cartels, are set to severely handicap our access to preventative healthcare—unless we stand up for our rights.  As Dr Gerry Bodekar, from the department of Medical Sciences, Oxford University reminded us, “there’s nothing alternative about so-called alternative medicine.  Modern medicine could be considered alternative in some parts of the world”.


Dr Gerry Bodekar, Department of Medical Sciences, Oxford University

Without widespread civil action, even disobedience, we are in danger, particularly in Europe, of losing the last vestiges of control over our own health.  A diseased society equals increased profits for the drug industry.  Disease prevention through complementary and alternative medicine is bad for business.  An oft-repeated phrase during the 4th WAC was that there will be no need for treatment if you use and live the principles of Ayurveda.  Health prevention is sustainable—treatment based on western drug-based medicine is not.  The stranglehold that has developed by large corporations over our healthcare, food and energy industries must be broken.  Our health is a basic birthright and traditional medicinal cultures like Ayurveda, Unani, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc have a huge amount to offer.  At the very least, the choice should be ours.

To avoid becoming another sacrificial lamb on the altar of Big Pharma profits, and to become an active participant in safeguarding the future of traditional herbal medicine in Europe, visit our THMPD campaign.

 

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Nurture Traditional Medicinal Cultures campaign page



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Dr Robert Verkerk – dlaczego placebo działa? – polecamy Zespół MT

Posted on 29 października 2010. Filed under: ANH, ANH fight for true, ANH walka o prawdę, placebo, racjonalista.pl | Tagi: , , , , , |


Analysis of clinical trials reveals that placebo content is rarely described

A new paper entitled ‘What’s in Placebos: Who Knows? Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials’ was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on 25th October 2010.

On reflection, it is surprising that a study such as this has not been carried out before now. With the concept of placebos so high on the public agenda, courtesy of the publicity given the revered randomised, placebo-controlled trial (RCT) by the mainstream media, it seems blindingly obvious that the placebos should also come under scrutiny.  At the very least the substances used as placebos should both be disclosed and established not to affect the outcome of the trial.

In fact, what these researchers have uncovered gives grave cause for concern, as trials that do report details of their placebo formulations are very unusual exceptions. The rule appears to be to say „You can trust us, we’re using inert substances that will have no bearing on the trial results”, while not disclosing any information on what those substances might be! While it may very well be true that the companies and organisations running clinical trials are whiter-than-white in terms of the substances given to patients as placebo, the potential for mistakes, invalid results and plain old medical fraud are huge.

Just think: it would be so easy for unscrupulous researchers to pollute their anonymous placebo with a substance that made those patients a little bit sicker – even if only on one or two clinical indicators – and thereby skew the results in favour of the trial drug. Placebos are often known as “sugar pills”, but what would be the effect of a real sugar pill in an RCT for a type II diabetes drug? It would be a black day indeed for the pharmaceutical industry if it turned out that decades of clinical trials were declared invalid, due to a lack of definitive evidence that their placebos were safe and inert.

These researchers have taken an important first step toward full disclosure of the true state of the science behind RCTs. We await further developments with interest.

Access the abstract and full paper.

Short summary of the abstract:

Background: No regulations govern placebo composition. The composition of placebos can influence trial outcomes and merits reporting.

Purpose: To assess how often investigators specify the composition of placebos in randomized, placebo-controlled trials.

Data Synthesis: Most studies did not disclose the composition of the study placebo. Disclosure was less common for pills than for injections and other treatments (8.2% vs. 26.7%; P = 0.002).

Limitation: Journals with high impact factors may not be representative.

Conclusion: Placebos were seldom described in randomized, controlled trials of pills or capsules. Because the nature of the placebo can influence trial outcomes, placebo formulation should be disclosed in reports of placebo-controlled trials.

Golomb BA, Erickson LC, Koperski S, Sack D, Enkin M, Howick J. What’s in Placebos: Who Knows? Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials. Annals of Internal Medicine 2010; 153: 532–535.

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Medycyna Naturalna – co jest naturalne? – Zespół Medycyna Tybetańsko-Mongolska

Posted on 9 września 2010. Filed under: ANH, ANH fight for true, ANH walka o prawdę, dr Enji, enji, herbal medicine, homeopatia, kodeks żywnościowy, lekarz Enkhjargal Dovchin, medycyna mongolska | Tagi: , , , , |


Working constantly in the natural health field, it is important that we have a strong understanding of what ‚natural’ is. This feature represents a multidisciplinary journey, one that perhaps raises more questions than it answers.

Feature Summary:

  • A description of ‚natural’ is reliant on individual perception. Any examination of it comes with numerous limitations due to knowledge base, perception of reality, limitation of the English language, and lack of public acceptance of ideas that don’t hold a robust scientific base
  • 1 proposal = Natural means that which exists without intervention of the human species
  • Considering the concept using physics (gamma rays in relation to our interaction with outerspace V’s human-engineered nuclear devices), chemistry (Primordial Elements that have existed in one form or another prior to the creation of planet Earth V’s new-to-nature molecules) and biology (exchange of genetic material among species V’s genetic manipulation by humans)
  • Continuum: that which occurs naturally in the absence of any interaction with the human species, to where things are generated through the activity of humans.
  • To create or not create. Our suspicion over processes, chemicals or forms of radiation that are not viewed as being natural is perhaps little more than a reflection of our need to impart a sense of responsibility over that which we are accountable. By definition, we have no control over that which exists independently of humans.

Multiple, parallel realities. Multiple universes. Multiple histories. Multiple opportunities. Over 10 dimensions. These are among the concepts we need to take on board if we are to accept some of the most current explanations for ‘what is’, as presently mapped by M-theory. M-theory, like string theory that preceded it, helps us to better understand reality. But these theories remind us of the limitation of human perception. And let’s remind ourselves that our reality is limited by our individual perception—and that our perception is, in turn, linked to the picture given to our conscious and subconscious mind from information gathered by our senses. These pictures are of course not only conditioned by the environment from which these data have been issued, they are also affected by our individual genetic and epigenetic landscape.


Planet Earth

With this ‘super-scape’ in our mind’s eye, this essay seeks to explore the meaning of the word ‘natural’. There are numerous limitations to any examination of this subject, not least of all the limitation of our knowledge base and our perception of reality, the limitation of the English language (and the author’s use of it) and the lack of public acceptance—in contemporary western society—of ideas that do not hold a robust scientific base. While it might be just as appropriate to use a metaphysical or even spiritual or religious approach to investigate the subject matter, a more broadly scientific approach will be used, if for no other reason that this approach befits the multidisciplinary scientific background of the author.

Natural: an anthropocentric concept

In the barest of terms, I would like to propose that natural means that which exists without intervention of the human species. But categorisation between natural and unnatural will often be blurred, given that the extent and type of human intervention will need to be considered. As such, we must accept that the concept of ‘natural’ is completely anthropocentric.

Humans represent just one of the multiple millions of species—both discovered and yet undiscovered—that exist, or have existed, on planet Earth. Strangely, while we regard the honey made by bees or the cyanide within apple seeds as natural, we might think differently about a toxic green slime made by an extra-terrestrial being. For the time being, let’s not only be anthropocentric, let’s also be focused primarily on those elements of our reality that most have come to accept as the human perception of reality, as experienced on planet Earth through our limited senses, awareness and intelligence. We will make this journey by considering the concept of ‘natural’ through lens of the three major disciplines of science: physics, chemistry and biology, as well as through the borders between them.

In some respects, the separation of these, and indeed of all other, scientific disciplines is a form of artificial reductionism used by humans to aid our understanding of complex processes. It is our limited intelligence that requires such reductionism, and it is reductionism that complicates our perceptions of the extent to which something is natural. So, while studies of distinct types of atoms and specific combinations of particular atoms in the form of molecules constitutes the foundation of chemistry, the physics of sub-atomic particles can be equally important. For instance, the nature of an atom’s electron configuration, or the behaviour of sub-atomic particles in relation to each other and, in turn, their relationships with other factors, can be explained, even if only partially, both in terms of physics and chemistry. The way in which these atoms, and various configurations of bonded atoms as molecules, then interact with the biotic environment can be explained, not only in terms of physics and chemistry, but also in biological terms. And, as practitioners of the metaphysical would be likely to be among the first to ask, who is to say that these three scientific disciplines, at their current level of development, are sufficient to allow us to understand reality? That’s probably why the Theory of Everything, which aims to unify or explain through a single model the theories of all fundamental interactions of nature, is still such a topic of hot debate and is unlikely to emerge from the realms of theory any time soon.

With these limitations recognised and appreciated, how might we categorise substances or processes in relation to their naturalness? Should we, for example, regard a chemical molecule that exists naturally in the environment as unnatural if the very same chemical structure is assembled by human beings within a laboratory? Or should we give such chemicals a special classification, such as ‘nature-identical synthetic’? It probably makes sense to do so, as any form of sub-categorisation tells us additional information about the origins of a substance that would otherwise be lacking. And what if a naturally occurring microorganism is forced to metabolise nature-identical substances in a laboratory, producing metabolites or by-products not normally found in the natural environment? Shall we call these ‘bio-synthetics’? For the reason given above—it probably makes sense.


Perfectly white cut apple

The same rationale can be applied to an F1 hybrid of dahlia that you may have cultivated in your garden. Or it could be applied to a variety of apple that doesn’t readily go brown after being bitten or cut? In the latter case, such apples, commonplace in today’s supermarkets, have been ‘selected’ by plant breeders because of their low content of the peroxidase, the enzyme which causes the familiar browning reaction following the exposure of the fruit tissue to oxygen. Retailers and consumers are said to prefer apples that don’t brown readily, but most don’t realise that the enzyme exists to protect the apple from attack by opportunistic pathogens. But if growers are ready with their arsenal of agro-chemicals, why should they be concerned with the peroxidase content?

Physics

In relation to our interaction with outer space, gamma rays exist naturally, being part of the cosmic radiation background to which we are exposed. We many not be able to explain every nuance and mechanism responsible for their generation, type or direction, but we think of background gamma radiation as a form of natural radiation precisely because it is not the result of our intervention.

By contrast, the high-energy gamma radiation experienced by the unfortunate inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 cannot be seen as ‘natural’. Humans had worked hard to find ways of harnessing the radiant energy of specific types of atom. They did this within the confines of human-engineered nuclear devices. Since demonstrating the remarkable power that can be released from an atom of hydrogen, humans have continued to wield this power over their enemies as a deterrent. But this very same power, propagated through an expanding population of nuclear fission reactors, has also been harnessed to generate electricity. We think of these two contrasting applications as unnatural because they occur as a result of our meddling with the laws of nature. The gamma radiation that kills, maims or generates electricity occurs naturally, but neither its application nor its level of exposure to human beings—to our knowledge—occurs in the natural world.  Yet we feel comfortable describing the similar nuclear fission reactions as natural when they occur without any input from our species, whether this is within our own or adjacent galaxies, or perhaps, as some scientists believe, within the molten core of our planet.

Such a framework which characterises the quality and quantity of our exposure to specific elements within our environment serves a useful purpose when examining the human health consequences of particular technologies. The extremely low frequency electromagnetic radiation (ELF) that emanates from mobile telephones, telecommunications masts, DECT phones, wireless communication devices, powerlines and other sources of radiofrequency/microwave radiation (RF/MW) is a case in point. Humans have produced a plethora of sources of these forms of radiation and the resulting exposures dramatically exceed natural background levels. It is consequently the type and exposure level of ELF produced by human-made devices that concerns  the scientists investigating the human health and environmental consequences of wireless communication technologies.

In further examining the concept of ‘natural’, let us now shift away from the field of physics and look instead at another scientific discipline; chemistry.

Chemistry

The ‘periodic table’ gives us a useful toolbox for understanding the world around us in chemical terms. The essential configuration of the table, albeit with many gaps compared with today’s version, was first proposed in 1869 by a Russian chemist by the name of Mendeleev. Even today, chemists will admit there are more elements to be discovered, especially beyond our own planet, or as a result of nuclear experimentation. To-date, some 112 elements have been identified, and of these 94 are thought to be naturally-occurring, even though they might only exist in miniscule amounts or be short-lived. Around 80 elements are considered stable in their solid, liquid, or gaseous forms. Accordingly, they are regarded as ‘primordial elements’, in that they have existed in one form (isotope) or another prior to the creation of planet Earth. The last of these to be discovered was francium—in 1939. A small, more recently discovered group, typically itemised at the bottom of current versions of the periodic table, can be referred to as the ‘trace radioisotopes’ group. These are naturally-occurring products of radioactive decay. In relative terms, they are very short-lived and are found in the Earth’s crust or atmosphere in minute (trace) amounts. Plutonium-239 or uranium-236, produced following neutron capture within naturally-occurring uranium, are examples of such trace radioisotopes.


Periodic table

There is however one more category of elements in our current version of the periodic table. It is the ‘synthetic elements’. These are thought to be so unstable that, even if they were formed during the creation of our solar system, they have long since decayed. We consider these elements to be synthetic because they have only been found as products of experiments using nuclear reactors or particle accelerators. Elements like uranium, thorium, polonium and radon may be unstable, but since they are found naturally within the Earth’s crust or atmosphere, they cannot be regarded as synthetic. Rutherfordium, hassium and copernicium are examples of synthetic elements. Other elements have yet to be discovered or produced.

Following WWII, a massive explosion of organic chemistry occurred. This chemistry, characterised by the reaction of different elements, in different states, together with the single element carbon, provided much of the impetus for the chemical, agro-chemical and pharmaceutical industry. It allowed corporations to expand at an unprecedented rate, this capitalisation being based on the production of unique carbon-based chemical structures which could then be patented. Naturally-occurring molecules cannot be patented as their pre-existence in our natural environment precludes novelty which is required to successfully obtain a patent.

At the heart of the debate over what is a natural molecule, is of course, not just the origin of the elements that comprise the molecule, but the existence of the chemical in the absence of any manipulation by human beings. For some, understanding the divide between the naturally-occurring chemicals and those that are usefully described as ‘new-to-nature’ is a valuable way of understanding human responses to our chemical environment.

Biology

In evaluating what is constitutes a natural chemical, we should now move to the interface that divides chemistry and biology. It is both incorrect and overly simplistic to argue that natural chemicals are safer to humans than artificially created ones. However, it has been amply demonstrated that human beings, along with all other animals, have developed complex detoxification systems for chemicals that occur naturally within our bodies or those ‘environmental chemicals’ to which we are exposed naturally. Many of these are ingested in our food, especially in plant-based foods. For most of us, our ingestion of food represents our most intimate exposure to the chemical world around us. Among the natural plant-based chemicals that are most protective against cancer, are actually those that are also toxic to insects, fungi or bacteria that seek to use those plants as a food source.  The glucosinolates within brassica vegetables are good examples of this. But as Paracelsus argued around 450 years ago, it is “the dose that makes a poison”. So while such phytochemicals may indeed be toxic at high doses, their absence from our diet may be associated with an increased risk of disease.


Traditional Chinese Medicine

Some of the most valuable herbal medicines have similar characteristics. Ancient herbal medicine traditions, such as Ayurveda from the Indian subcontinent and traditional Chinese medicine, were first documented over 4,000 years. But this documentation does not represent the first usage of plants for medical purposes. Plant medicine was likely well established in hominids many thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of years prior to this. This is supported by the fact that closely related primates such as chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans are all accomplished users of plant medicines. It follows therefore that herbal medicine may have preceded the evolution of our species.  Ingested in the right amounts, the products of particular plant parts, as well as their specific combination, can help support the proper functioning of metabolic processes within our bodies. In other words, such products can ‘heal’ us if we are diseased, or they can prevent the occurrence of disease. Most simply, they can promote homeostasis. Used incorrectly however, as with any toxic material, they can cause harm.

Importantly, if we are to accept the essential tenets of ‘natural selection’, as first proposed by Darwin, it may be that the duration of time to which we have been exposed to certain chemicals is of pivotal importance to the way by which we react to them. More exposure time means more adaptation time. Time is not only required to evolve ways of making particular chemicals less dangerous, time also offers the opportunity of enabling our bodies to utilise the beneficial properties of plants and other chemical constituents of our food.

Since life on our planet first emerged, probably a billion or more years ago, up until recently, an intricate dance between living things and non-living things has played out. In essence, this dance has existed between the biotic and abiotic natural world. The unnatural, human-created world only emerged in earnest following the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. But the extent and nature of human interference in natural processes has catapulted forward dramatically in the last half century. In human evolutionary terms, 50 years is but the blink of an eye. It represents less than 9 seconds of a 24-hour clock depicting the possible 500,000 year evolution of our species.

Such a train of logic leads us of course to the subset of biology that we refer to as genetics. Life is coded by a series of chemicals arranged in highly specific ways. Our uniqueness can be explained genetically by understanding the precise arrangement of these chemicals to create a particular type of information. The information is in turn held within our DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) within the sequence of pieces of DNA that we call genes. The Human Genome Project, as of 2003, informed us that all of the variation within our species is coded for by around 20,000 genes. These genes in turn express some 300,000 or so different polypeptides, enzymes and proteins, produced through the transcription of messenger RNA (mRNA). RNA differs from DNA only that it is comprised of a ribose sugar, rather than a deoxy ribose one. This revelation denigrated the ‘one gene-one polypeptide/enzyme/protein’ hypothesis that had been relied upon in molecular biology since it was first proposed by Beadle and Tatum in 1958, a proposal that led to the joint award of a Nobel Prize.

Genetic material can be exchanged among species, or, sometimes, other closely related organisms. In fact it is this fact that has been central to the taxonomic categorisation of our planet’s organisms. We therefore believe that there are preset, natural rules which govern the exchange of genetic material from the germline cells (gametes) of one organism to another. We think of this kind of genetic exchange as natural.

It is the disruption of these natural genetic rules that makes so many people question the wisdom of genetic engineering. Many are suspicious of the technology even without any awareness of scientific evidence of its harm to humans, other animals or other elements of the environment. Genetic manipulation—the domain of biotechnology—can therefore be seen to be responsible for products which can no longer be regarded as natural. While a genetically-modified (GM) maize variety, viewed by governmental regulators as ‚substantially equivalent’ to its non-GM cousin, may look outwardly identical to its non-GM cousin, it should not be regarded as natural. It may have been modified through the incorporation of an alien genetic cassette to allow it to be resistant to one company’s herbicide, as is the case with Monsanto’s Roundup resistant crops. Alternatively, genetic material encoding for a toxic protein from a species of soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), may have been introduced to the maize plants’ DNA. Neither the method of gene insertion, nor the occurrence of the foreign genes expressing the specific trait, are able to occur without manipulation by humans. It is the breach of the natural laws governing genetic exchange that provides such grounds for concern among those apprehensive about the human health and environmental risks associated with outdoor release of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

MON810

While plant or animal breeding programmes also lead to genetic combinations that would not normally occur in nature, the processes that actually govern genetic exchange in such programmes still work within the parameters of the laws of nature.

Like with chemicals, the precise way by which humans manipulate genetic material raises further questions over how natural a given organism might be. Simple binary logic, in which something is natural or not, just make way for a continuum which tells us something about the extent of its naturalness.

Concluding remarks

Within the scientific disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology, we’ve been able to consider a rationale—from our unashamedly anthropocentric perspective—for what makes something natural.

We’ve been able to differentiate between the substance or entity, and the process.  A chemical or radiation source might be natural, but is its existence, form, type or level of exposure within the ranges we might expect if humans had not intervened in any way? Alternatively, the process by which a substance, entity or organism is produced might be natural or unnatural. If the process is unnatural, we think of it as artificial even if the output from the process is identical to that which is yielded through processes that are independent of humans. Animal cloning or even in vitro fertilisation are thus regarded as unnatural processes, despite the fact that their progeny cannot be readily distinguished using current scientific means from those produced naturally.

We therefore must accept, as with so many forms of categorisation, that the simple distinction between natural and unnatural, or natural and synthetic or artificial, is necessarily crude. It may even be less than accurate. This greying of the boundaries between that which exists both with and without the intervention of our species yields a continuum. The continuum stretches, at one extreme, from that which occurs naturally in the absence of any interaction with the human species, to the other extreme, where things are generated through the activity of humans, the outputs being at odds with anything that might have existed previously. Most substances to which we are exposed, whether they are present in our food, our water or in the air we breathe, exist somewhere between these two extremes.

Whether a substance is identical to, a lot like, or only slightly like, one that exists naturally, might be of great consequence to our health, or even our survival. Equally, it might be of little or no significance. But whether it is of great, or little, significance, is not actually relevant to the positioning of the substance on the continuum.

We should keep reminding ourselves of the limits of our knowledge, perception and understanding. To an extra-terrestrial surveying our planet, the effects of activities of any of the organisms inhabiting the planet might be regarded as natural. Why should the effects wrought by one organism be segregated from those of millions of other organisms sharing the same planet?

As the organism responsible for such profound environmental change within our recent history, many are unsurprisingly concerned about what we are doing to our planet. These concerns are framed within our own awareness and particular systems of perception. They are also framed by our particular forms of intra-species (verbal and non-verbal) communication. Many of us will not yet be able to interpret the relevance of M-theory, or even understand how parallel universes or realities might exist. But most are guided by an innate and intuitive ‘feel’ which dictates that the more natural something is, the more acceptable it is.

Many also recognise that ‘natural’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘safe’. In terms of today’s scientific understanding, especially within the discipline of toxicology, at least as important as the innate characteristics of the substance (or form of radiation) itself, is the nature and degree of our exposure to it. For toxicologists, dosage is seminal, although we might consider not blindly accepting over-simplistic notions about typical dose-response relationships. Toxicologists are however greatly limited by methodologies that consider the context of our exposures. Currently, very little attention is paid to the effects of mixtures of chemicals, both natural and unnatural, to which we are exposed daily. Scientific reductionism could be regarded as having hindered as well as helped our understanding of our natural environment, of which we are but one biotic component. On a daily basis we are learning more about the extraordinarily complex interactions that occur within our environment, using our much-loved, but somewhat limited, tools of physics, chemistry and biology.

We have, literally, only just began scraping the surface of what is likely to really be going on. We should therefore be modest enough to avoid making claims as to the ultimate truth (if there is such a thing) concerning both our reality and the operation of the world around us. It is always helpful to keep thinking as big as we can. After building understanding within our artificial scientific compartments, we then need to remove the compartments to achieve higher awareness. To push forward our awareness of our situation, we need to keep returning to the widest, most ‘macro’, unreduced and non-compartmentalised perspective we can find. M-theory provides us with one such perspective.

Our suspicion over processes, chemicals or forms of radiation that are not viewed as being natural is perhaps little more than a reflection of our need to impart a sense of responsibility over that which we are accountable. By definition, we have no control over that which exists independently of humans. However, we can choose either to create or not create those things we view as synthetic, semi-synthetic, bio-synthetic or even nature-identical. In this way, we are therefore able to act as arbiters over those human-created elements of our perceived existence.

Long may such responsibility continue, on the grounds that it is coupled with the highest level of awareness and understanding that we can muster.

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Chore pomysły Ministerstwa Zdrowia – Serwis Medycyna Tybetańska informacja

Posted on 3 kwietnia 2010. Filed under: ANH, ANH fight for true, ANH walka o prawdę, Cenzura, dr Enji, enji, Ewa Kopacz, Zero prawdy, zielarstwo, zioła | Tagi: , , , , , , |


Piątek, 08 Styczeń 2010 10:33 Grzegorz Wierzchołowski

Od kilku miesięcy urzędnicy Ministerstwa Zdrowia robią, co mogą, by utrudnić funkcjonowanie punktów aptecznych, czyli placówek pełniących rolę aptek na terenach wiejskich. Decyzje resortu sprzyjają interesom aptekarskich lobbystów, marzących o zniszczeniu tańszej konkurencji i zmonopolizowaniu rynku wartego 25 mld zł rocznie.

fot http://www.fortunecity.com/millenium/ratty/213/drugstore.jpg

„Od dawna opowiadam się za tym, aby nie było takiej chimery jak punkty apteczne, które na dobrą sprawę nie wiadomo, czym są”, „Apteki typu C mogłyby działać na wsiach, spełniać podobne wymagania, jakie dzisiaj są stawiane punktom aptecznym, ale musiałby tam pracować magister farmacji. Nie oszukujmy się, technik farmaceutyczny kończy obecnie tylko szkołę policealną, więc trudno porównać jego kwalifikacje i wiedzę z osobą po ukończonych studiach wyższych”, „Tak więc na wsiach nie powinno być punktów aptecznych, ale należałoby tam dopuścić funkcjonowanie małych aptek typu C, gdzie pacjent mógłby kupić wszystkie leki”.

To tylko kilka wyimków z niedawnej rozmowy Stanisława Piechuły, prezesa Śląskiej Izby Aptekarskiej, z branżowym miesięcznikiem „Rynek Zdrowia”. Wiele wskazuje na to, że postulaty przedstawiciela jednego z najpotężniejszych lobby w Polsce zostaną wkrótce zrealizowane przez Ewę Kopacz i urzędników jej resortu.

Punkty apteczne bez Gripexu

Na początku października 2009 r. weszło w życie rozporządzenie minister zdrowia odnośnie medykamentów, które mogą być sprzedawane w punktach aptecznych. Jego treść wywołała burzę we wszystkich małych miejscowościach, w których takie placówki się znajdują. Okazało się bowiem, że resort Ewy Kopacz nie tylko zmienił o 180 stopni dotychczasową praktykę prawną (dotąd ustalano listę leków, których punkty apteczne NIE MOGĄ sprzedawać), ale i znacznie ograniczył sprzedaż farmaceutyków w punktach, stanowiących – przypomnijmy – groźną konkurencję dla aptek.

Pikanterii sprawie dodaje fakt, że na sporządzonej przez Ministerstwo Zdrowia „czarnej” liście leków znalazły się medykamenty powszechnie znane, jak np. Gripex (choć niemal identyczny Coldrex… został dopuszczony do sprzedaży), preparat VITA Buerlecithin, maści przeciwzakrzepowe z heparyną, szczepionka przeciw grypie Influvac (choć prawie dwa razy droższą Vaxigrip dostać można bez problemu), flegamina w tabletkach, Ibuprom Zatoki czy środki antykoncepcyjne. Poza tym – co już podkreśliliśmy – wykaz „leków zakazanych” zawiera produkty, których droższe odpowiedniki (lub odpowiedniki innego producenta) dziwnym trafem nie napotkały na obiekcje ze strony resortowych urzędników…

Zastanawia też fakt, że „uderzenie” Ministerstwa Zdrowia w punkty apteczne nastąpiło w czasie największych zysków placówek sprzedających leki. Październik, listopad i grudzień to przecież okres, w którym Polacy wydają najwięcej pieniędzy na leki przeciwgrypowe i przeciw przeziębieniu (w tym roku doszła do tego panika związana ze świńską grypą), na suplementy diety i preparaty witaminowe.

Co ciekawe – z podobną, jeśli nawet nie większą surowością potraktowani zostali przez Ewę Kopacz inni konkurenci dużych aptek, czyli sklepy zielarsko-medyczne. Na mocy rozporządzenia z października 2009 r. zakazano ich właścicielom sprzedaży około 250 popularnych produktów, m.in. rutinoscorbinu, witaminy C (!), paracetamolu, maści na odciski, szamponu przeciwłupieżowego Nizoral, majeranku, Upsarinu C czy leczniczych soli kąpielowych.

W walce o swoje prawa

Wkrótce po ogłoszeniu absurdalnego i korupcjogennego rozporządzenia Ministerstwa Zdrowia właściciele punktów aptecznych postanowili zaprotestować. Już 25 października 2009 r. powstała Izba Gospodarcza Właścicieli Punktów Aptecznych i Aptek (IGWPAiA), zrzeszająca ponad stu przedsiębiorców prowadzących placówki, w których sprzedaje się leki.

Pod koniec listopada – gdy okazało się, że resort Ewy Kopacz nie przejął się ani protestem, ani dramatycznymi skutkami rozporządzenia (spadek obrotów punktów aptecznych, pozbawienie Polaków mieszkających poza dużymi miastami dostępu do podstawowych medykamentów) – zarząd IGWPAiA zapowiedział wystąpienie z pozwem zbiorowym przeciwko skarbowi państwa. Przestraszeni urzędnicy Ministerstwa Zdrowia naprędce zorganizowali spotkanie w tej sprawie, a kilkanaście dni później wiceszef resortu Marek Twardowski ogłosił, że Ewa Kopacz „nie zamierza likwidować punktów aptecznych i sklepów zielarskich”. Dość cynicznie zaznaczył jednak przy tym, że „jeśli niektóre z tych placówek są w gorszej sytuacji, na pewno nie wynika to z tego, że nie mogą sprzedawać jakiejś postaci określonego leku, bo najczęściej mogą oferować kilka innych rodzajów tego samego preparatu” (cytat za PAP). Jedynym konkretem, jaki udało się uzyskać właścicielom punktów, to propozycja… aktualizacji feralnego rozporządzenia.

– Ministerstwo Zdrowia chce utrzymać taką patową sytuację aż do wprowadzenia nowego prawa farmaceutycznego, dlatego chcemy wystąpić z pozwem – tłumaczy „GP” technik farmaceuta, kierujący jednym z wielu punktów aptecznych na Warmii. – Resort przychylnie patrzy na postulaty lobby aptekarskiego, które od dawna chce nas zniszczyć jako konkurencję. Jeśli ministerstwo zaakceptuje propozycje aptekarzy w pracach nad projektem nowego prawa farmaceutycznego, to punkty apteczne padną, a na nasze miejsce wejdą duże sieci aptek. A ponieważ jak na razie pani minister zdecydowanie faworyzuje właśnie ich, to musimy być przygotowani na najgorsze.

Gra o grube miliardy

Punkty apteczne to placówki, które działają tam, gdzie otwarcie apteki jest albo niemożliwe (ze względów formalnych), albo nieopłacalne. Nie mają one obowiązku zatrudniania magistrów farmacji, więc zazwyczaj kierują nimi technicy farmaceutyczni. Placówki te nie muszą spełniać także kilku innych formalnych wymogów, dzięki czemu ich działalność jest tańsza.

Gdyby punkty apteczne – a w całej Polsce jest ich blisko 1,5 tys. – zbankrutowały, mieszkańcy wsi zostaliby kupować leki w aptekach oddalonych z reguły o kilkanaście lub kilkadziesiąt kilometrów (częściowo ma to miejsce już teraz, po wejściu w życie kuriozalnego rozporządzenia ministerstwa). Wtedy wystarczyłoby zmienić prawo, powrócić do dawnego podziału aptek na „apteki A”, „B” i „C” – i zastąpić tymi ostatnimi punkty apteczne oraz sklepy zielarsko-medyczne. Nie trzeba dodawać, że apteki typu „C” musiałyby zatrudniać magistrów farmacji…

Gra toczy się o dużą stawkę, bo rynek sprzedaży leków w Polsce szacowany jest na 25 mld zł rocznie. Nowe prawo farmaceutyczne wpłynie na strukturę podziału tych ogromnych zysków, nic dziwnego więc, że aptekarskie lobby robi wszystko, by jak największa część tych pieniędzy przypadła właśnie magistrom farmacji i dużym aptekom.

„GP” sprawdziła, jakie uwagi do nowego prawa farmaceutycznego (ma ono wejść w życie 2010 r.) zgłosiła Naczelna Rada Aptekarska. W piśmie z 5 sierpnia 2009 r. jej prezes, dr Grzegorz Kucharewicz, domaga się m.in. „ustawowego ograniczenia obrotu lekami w placówkach obrotu pozaaptecznego oraz punktach aptecznych” i „zniesienia możliwości tworzenia nowych punktów aptecznych”. Postuluje także – wbrew zasadom wolnej konkurencji – „ograniczenie zakładania nowych aptek”, jak również „ustalenie sztywnych cen na produkty lecznicze i wyroby medyczne refundowane ze środków publicznych”. Warto dodać, że ta ostatnia propozycja – oznaczająca zanik konkurencji między aptekami i zdrożenie leków – zyskała już akceptację Ministerstwa Zdrowia. Wkrótce przekonamy się, czy równie łatwo pójdzie Ewie Kopacz z likwidacją punktów aptecznych i sklepów z ziołami.

Grzegorz Wierzchołowski

Gazeta Polska

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Ayurweda zagrożona – lek. Enji

Posted on 1 kwietnia 2010. Filed under: ANH, ANH fight for true, ANH walka o prawdę, codex alimentarius, dr Enji, enji, lekarz Enji, lekarz Enkhjargal Dovchin | Tagi: , , |


Ayurveda drugs face scrutiny abroad R. Ramabhadran Pillai


European Union’s new regulations will come into force after March 2011.


KOCHI: The exporters of Ayurvedic products to the European Union (EU) will have to follow the new regulations adopted by the EU, which would come into force after March 2011.

It would be imperative on the part of exporters to adhere to the norms, said B. Anand, Joint Secretary, Department of Ayush, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. He was talking to newspersons here on Friday at the Global Ayurveda Summit, organised by CII and Ayush.

The Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products (THMP) directive would restrict the export of medicinal herb products through fresh norms. A THMP registration or marketing authorisation would be required for marketing the products after March 2011.

The products would have to be certified after undergoing a systematic process of verification which might incur high costs to the Indian manufacturer. Herbal products, traditionally marketed in the EU for 30 years, could be registered with a dossier showing quality data and ingredients which would have to be approved by the EU authorities.

Ayush is teaming up with the Quality Council of India to register herbal products and already 35 products of various companies have been listed for registration, he said. It has devised special courses for the international medical community. Some foreign universities have adopted Ayurvedic courses. Three institutions, in UK, Germany and the US, have tied up with Ayush for launching courses in Ayurveda.

Earlier, Mr. Anand said Ayurveda is the most widely recognised traditional system of Indian medicine in the global context. It is known as Complementary and Alternative Medicine or Traditional Medicine under the system adopted by World Health Organisation.

The WHO provides brief information on the challenges faced by traditional medicine worldwide. It also gives messages and a check-list for the safety, efficacy and quality to policy-makers. Ayush is undertaking a multi-pronged, integrated and comprehensive set of activities for promoting quality education, research, standardisation of drugs and quality assurance, he said.

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Komentarz „MEDYCYNY TYBETAŃSKIEJ”

Nowe regulacje UE doprowadzą do całkowitego zakazu i ścigania ludzi zajmujących się szeroko pojętą medycyną naturalną. Jest to próba przejęcia całkowitej kontroli nad suplementami diety i produktami tradycyjnej medycyny danych krajów, a w szczególności CHIN, TYBETU, MONGOLII. Mamy nadzieję, że społeczeństwo wyrazi swoje zdanie oddając głos w petycji na rzecz referendum w obronie medycyny naturalnej.

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FAO and ANH go head to head on Codex – Komentarz „MEDYCYNY TYBETAŃSKIEJ” i dr Enji

Posted on 1 kwietnia 2010. Filed under: ANH, ANH fight for true, ANH walka o prawdę, codex alimentarius, dr Enji, enji, kodeks żywnościowy, lekarz Enji, lekarz Enkhjargal Dovchin, Złe Prawo | Tagi: , , , , , , , |


By the ANH Team

Two scientists on opposing sides of the debate over how the global food supply is being regulated were brought together yesterday to argue and debate their respective positions in front of an audience of leading academics at Lancaster University. The unique debate was convened by the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen) as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. The debate was entitled “The Future of Codex Alimentarius”. Leading academics from Lancaster, Edinburgh, Sussex and Sheffield Universities actively participated in a highly engaging debate following presentations by the two scientists.

Dr Ezzeddine Boutrif

Dr Ezzeddine Boutrif, Director of the Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), opened the debate by making a presentation on the claimed benefits, risks and opportunities brought by implementation of the international food code administered through the intergovernmental organization responsible for developing international standards for the global food trade, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). Dr Boutrif explained the complex procedures developed to facilitate the workings of the intergovernmental organization and argued that the process was now considerably more transparent than in earlier years.

Dr Robert Verkerk, executive director of the Alliance for Natural Health, an international non-governmental organization, followed Dr Boutrif, questioning the independence of much of the science relied upon by Codex technical committees, providing evidence for the distortion of the process by large vested interests. Dr Verkerk also claimed that Codex’s work on genetically modified foods was inadequate to ensure consumer or environmental protection and that the basis for claiming that GM crops could alleviate hunger and poverty in developing countries was lacking. He advocated that agro-ecological models of agriculture that focused on the self-sufficiency of such agricultural communities—and not biotechnology—would be central to any resolution of the problems.

The global food system has transitioned massively over the last few decades, even since the CAC was formally established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1963. Central to these changes are the industrialization of agriculture, the establishment of a truly global food trade, the increased consumption and availability of processed foods and accompanying use of food additives, as well as a dramatic adoption of GM crops destined for both the animal and human food chains.

The recommendations, guidelines and standards as established by Codex Alimentarius have become central to the way in which the global food trade is regulated. The over 10-year long dispute between the USA and the EU over growth hormones in beef in which the EU has been forced by the World Trade Organization, on the basis of evidence from Codex, to pay fines amounting to over $120 million annually for refusing import of hormone-treated US and Canadian beef provides an example of the significance of Codex. The EU, in contrast, has argued that some hormones may present a health risk to humans consuming produce from treated animals.

Dr Robert Verkerk

Commenting on the meeting, Dr Verkerk said, “The Cesagen meeting presented a rare opportunity for our views to be aired, not only directly to the FAO, but also to a clutch of leading academics in the genomics and social science fields. There is no doubt in my mind that the interests of consumers, as well as those of smallholder farmers and small businesses in the food trade, are not being adequately addressed by the present Codex structure. Big business and a number of governments have run away on their own track. We hold some hope that well argued positions from the NGO and academic sectors may help to positively shape the system to better deal with the demands of future generations. Developing foods and food production systems that are more compatible both with the environment and our bodies will involve a paradigm shift—and this is about going forwards not backwards. ”


ANH HomepageCodex campaign page

Say No to GM campaign page

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