The Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) says that over 100 unlicensed St John’s Wort products had been removed this week from the Amazon.co.uk website as the result of a collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Following discussions in December 2014 with the MHRA, the HFMA raised concerns about the selling activities of major online retailers, citing St John’s Wort in particular, and the marketing of health products making illegal medicinal claims or inappropriately labelled for the UK market.
HFMA has confirmed the names of four products that were on the list of those removed from Amazon, and which carried unauthorised medicinal claims on the products labels: Nutriodol St. John’s Wort – “High quality depression relief, Perika St. John’s Wort – “Patented extract to maintain a healthy emotional outlook”, Source Naturals St. John’s Wort – “Helps Supports a Positive Mental Outlook”, and Obire St. John’s Wort “Increases feelings of wellbeing, reduces anxiety and stress, relaxant”
The HFMA’s executive director, Graham Keen, said: “This is a very positive outcome to help ensure safe and regulated natural health products for UK consumers, and we thank the MHRA for acting so decisively in addressing this problem. It is also a very real and detrimental commercial issue for our members who invest heavily in producing high-quality products that meet all regulatory requirements. We will continue to work with the MHRA by providing further examples of other products inappropriately labelled for the UK market are determined to promote access to safe, high-quality natural health products for consumers.”
The HFMA says following its discussions with the MHRA other online UK retail channels, including eBay, are also under review.