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Herbal Medicine: Regulation

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on her plans for the future regulation of herbal practitioners; and what principles will underlie the proposed new regulatory regime. (123950)

A working group has been established to prepare for statutory regulation of herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture practitioners. The working group, chaired by Professor Mike Pittilo, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, has met three times so far and is currently working towards preparing a report to Ministers.

The purpose of statutory regulation is to improve public protection by setting clear standards of training and competence for herbal medicine and acupuncture practitioners. It would also reassure patients that a practitioner they consult is not only suitably qualified, but also competent and up-to-date with developments in practice.