The MHRA “overstepped the legal mark” when it removed 107 St John’s wort products last week from the Amazon UK website, claims campaign group the Alliance for Natural Health.
The move by the UK’s medicine regulator followed recent discussions with the Health Food Manufacturers Association, which has been pressing the MHRA to take action against the sale of unlicensed herbal medicines from UK-based e-retailers. The HFMA had warned the regulator that many herbal products being sold on websites such as Amazon were using illegal medicinal claims.
In an article published on its website yesterday, the ANH challenges the “legitimacy of the forced product removal” and asserts that “some of the products (removed by the MHRA) have wrongly been considered as illegal based on claims”.
The campaign group says that some of claims judged by the regulator to be unauthorized medicinal claims, are in fact “carefully worded health claims that are as yet not non-authorized by the European Commission”.
ANH claims the action taken against St John’s wort products “represents part of an ongoing campaign by the MHRA … to attack herbal food supplements without adequate legal justification”.