A Note from Phil Evans about the Risks of the

 pro-SR campaign.


Copyright Phil Evans November 2009




If Self-Regulation (SR) doesn't happen, and we were told at the NIMH's AGM that it is now "unlikely to go ahead", then continuing to state that herbalists are posing a danger to the public, as the pro-SR campaign is doing, actually does nothing but put our profession at risk, as the government may think it needs to do something about this danger that herbalists say exists, but not by regulating herbalists; instead they might go and make herbal medicine 'GP-only'. 

 In fact the government cannot regulate herbalists, as the Report of the Working Group on Extending Professional Regulation makes clear (the public consultation was delayed for over a year to allow this Report to be produced): it says that candidates for regulation must have an evidence-base for their practice, in order to maintain public confidence in regulated professionals. When we were told at the AGM that the "big hitters" had entered the arena and objected to the Steering Group's proposals, this was undoubtedly referring to the medical profession, who as we know have always said there is no evidence for what we do, and who are against the SR of herbalists on the basis that it would give credibility to a profession that has no evidence-base for its practice (which is true, in the terms they and the government use): there is no way the government will regulate herbalists if the doctors do not want it, otherwise they would have a revolt on their hands. 

I would urge all pro-SR people to think again about the possible danger they are putting our profession into by continuing to say that there is a risk to the public out there in the form of dangerous herbalists, particularly when there is no accumulated evidence, only anecdote, to support this: any risk can only be potential and not actual until it is supported by evidence.


Phil Evans.