The European Federation for Naturopathy (EFN), initiated a huge protest against, inter alia, the absurdly discriminatory legislation in Germany which had made all nutritional supplements which had a physiological effect ‘prescription-only medicines’.
The protest was aimed at the German Federal Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. Close on 60 thousand German State-registered Naturopathic Practitioners (Naturheilpraktiker) were motivated to have their patients, estimated at around 38 million, sign a petition at each practice reception and have them send e-mails and letters to a few hand-picked individuals at that Ministry. They reportedly each had to contend with an average of 15 thousand such communications every day over the past year.
The EFN is reporting that the campaign was an enormous success, in that it achieved the following three things:
(i) Removal of the legal requirement for physiologically active nutritional supplements to be classified as ‘p.o.m.’ medicines in Germany;
(ii) Making notification to the competent authority compulsory by laboratories the presence of undesirable substances in foodstuffs and animal feeds in amounts that might give rise for concern;
(iii) Foodstuff and animal feed enterprises will be obliged to report to the competent authority results of self-monitoring with respect to dioxins, furan and dioxin-like compounds, as well as non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls. Mass protests usually have an effect.
The hope we must all carry forward is that public and professional opinion is the defining voice in democracys as well as it appears these days in autocracies, but we have to harness it. For the UK and EU the Alliance for Natural Health is preparing a substantive legal challenge and requires financial as well as moral support. Please visit http://www.anh-europe.org/