Learn More and Speak Up
Tell the TMC to stop their efforts and disband now. Tell the TMC that creating another draft will not serve the greater good of health access for all.
Who Is the Traditional Medicines Congress?
The Traditional Medicines Congress (TMC) was formed in 2004 and is comprised of a group of 9 invited organizations. Each of these organizations paid the trade organization, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), approximately $1000 to be a part of the congress. The TMC is a self-appointed group promoting new federal regulation that will affect most areas in the field of herbalism. This regulation is structured to harmonize with regulations in other parts of the world that have wrecked havoc on natural product marketplaces, practitioners and consumers.
Why Was the TMC Created?
The TMC was created to produce a 16 page ideal regulatory model draft document entitled, A Proposed Regulatory Model for Traditional Medicines. The lead authors of this document were: the president of AHPA, the president and the vice president of the American Herbalist Guild (AHG).
What is the Intention of the TMC Document?
The document proposes to create a new category of substances, called Traditional Medicines, which includes herbs and animal products, to be federally regulated. It specifies how this regulation would be administered and evaluated, including official texts to evaluate the substances, formulas and what types of professionals would make up the 15 member advisory committee reporting to the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services. The document puts herbs in a separate category and aligns the U.S.A. herb regulation closer to that of the European Union's Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD that is being adopted world-wide, despite public outcry. Proponents of harmonization see benefit to be gained by those companies who can afford to shoulder the great costs to enable more label information, than is currently allowed by DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994), to be shared with the public and therefore potentially increasing sales of products.
What Effects Could the TMC Document Have?
The U.S. consumer has some of the greatest access to a diverse herbal network of goods and services, greater than anywhere in the world. If the TMCs proposed ideal regulatory model, or anything similar to it, were enacted here, that will change. The U.S.A. will experience the same swelling host of problems that have been created by directives implemented abroad. It would impose a wide level of federal regulation administered by the office of Health and Human Services. This would affect all aspects of herbal endeavors in the U.S.A. and complicate and undermine DSHEA, administered by the FDA.
Effects will include but are not limited to:
- Limiting access to herbs and formulas
- Jeopardizing and confusing rights now offered by state laws for licensed practitioners by imposing federal regulations
- Jeopardizing and confusing rights now offered by state laws for unlicensed practitioners by imposing federal regulations that conflict with health freedom acts
- Undermining DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Heath and Education Act of 1994) Limiting compounding to certain formulas as specifically mandated (laid out) in the officially sanctioned texts
- Consolidate larger herb companies market share by squeezing out smaller companies in favor of large, potentially multi-national companies, that can afford to pay the costs of administrating regulatory requirements
- Increasing costs of products substantially to distributors, retailers, and consumers
- Complicating and possible restricting, practitioners from dispensing from their offices
- Setting the stage for general regulation of herbalists
- Creating barriers to freedom of speech by imposing standardization of herbal education
- Aiding the largest trade organizations and companies push for standardization and harmonization, including Codex Alimentarius
- Limiting true traditional peoples access to their remedies
- Violation of the intellectual property rights of cultural groups and individuals that hold traditional cultural knowledge of herbal medicine
Who Prepared This Information?
We are a grass roots team dedicated to preserving the voice of herbal diversity. We believe that grass roots efforts are powerful and represent true democracy at its best. We have been actively engaged in months of research. We have gained an understanding about the TMC, as well as the larger issues of both domestic and foreign regulation. We have pledged to help stop unnecessary regulation, including that which has long been supported by a minority within the herbal community, who put their own monetary and power interests over those of the greater herbal community.
This information has been variously prepared by and/or endorsed by: Cascade Anderson Geller, Rosemary Gladstar, Phylis Hogan, Charles Garcia, Cynthia Pileggi, Adam Seller, Richard McDonald, and a host of others.