Breaking herbals law "criminal offence"

The MHRA has confirmed that any manufacturer or supplier that places unlicenced herbal products onto the market illegally after the THMPD transition period ends on April 30 2011 will be committing a criminal offence.

In a briefing given to NP this week, the head of the MHRA’s borderline section David Carter, reiterated the warning he made at the HFMA’s Spring Seminar (see story). Insisting there was “no place to hide” from new laws on herbal medicine, Carter said:

“We are currently identifying products that will require registration or authorisation and contacting the suppliers to inform them of this. The message here is simple: It is not going to be possible to do nothing, and we will be taking compliance and enforcement action against companies who do not comply with medicines legislation.”

Questioned on the mechanism of enforcement, Carter said: “If we find that a company is illegally placing a product on the market we will issue a formal notice to stop — and we will let the company or individual concerned that they are committing a criminal offence. We will judge each case on a case-by-case basis, but we will prosecute if necessary.”

But Carter added: “The health food trade is an ethical industry, so I’d be surprised if any reputable company was considering placing products illegally on the market and knowingly breaking the law.”