Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Safe and natural

On the news at the moment they are discussing proposals to license and regulate herbal products (I refuse to use the word "medicines") but only in a rather limited sense. They are talking about labelling them with something that, in essence, says it is safe to take and won't do you any harm.

There is an argument against it from the pharmacists who are suggesting that such a label might give people the impression that the products have some clinical value. This may be true for some and not for others and the anti-argument is that the existence of the label will give people the impression that the products are of proven medical effect.

The solution seems perfectly simple to me.  License them as safe and make the label something like.

This product is safe to consume.
It will do you no harm.
This is because it does nothing.
It has no proven medical effect.

They can put it on all the homoeopathic remedies too, but replacing the last line with 

It is proven to have 
NO medical effect whatsoever.


Anonymous said...

Rubbish. People have relied on herbs to treat their ailments far longer than they have used chemically produced so-called medicines that often do as much harm as good. (In fact many of these medicines use those very same ingredients you so lightly dismiss.) Of course modern medicines have their place and are undoubtedly most effective, but do not dismiss out of hand methods that have proven effective for as long as man has peopled this planet and are still relied on by many less "privileged" nations than us. Open your mind and try them instead of bothering overstretched doctors for harmful drugs to treat your minor ailments.

Bob Hale said...

Thank you for stopping by. All comments always welcome.
May I recommend a couple of books?

Ben Goldacre's Bad Science and Simon Singh's Trick or Treatment are both excellent.

Assuming that you probably won't read them may I wish you a long and happy life.

And for the record I agree. Some herbal treatments are effective. And some aren't.