Commentary.
Author: Baxter, John
Pub Date: 03/22/2010
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Spring, 2010 Source Volume: 22 Source Issue: 1
Accession Number: 223823986
Full Text: Lethal herbs

The year 2010 has certainly started with a bang. You are probably aware of the media reports stating that herbal medicines may be lethal. The press release on this came from Professor Byard at Adelaide University and received airplay on several news programs with stories published in major newspapers. The good news is that before running the story many reporters sought comment from the Association on the relevance of this information in Australia.

To date eight interviews have been completed: two with newspapers, two with TV stations and four with radio stations. In all interviews we stressed the article spoke about traditional Chinese herbal preparations sold over the counter in the USA and emphasised that herbal products sold in Australia are subject to scrutiny by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA). In each case it was recommended that people wishing to take herbal medicines would be well advised to consult with a trained herbalist to ensure their safety and appropriate selection of medicines.

The fact that the journalists thought to consult with the NHAA before publishing their stories suggests the long term strategy of making our expertise known to journalists is starting to pay off.

John Baxter BHSc ND DBM MNHAA President National Herbalists Association of Australia PO Box 45 Concord West 2138 or president@nhaa.org.au

7th International Conference on Herbal Medicine

The next NHAA International Conference will be held at Tweed Heads in July this year with registrations and accommodation bookings being accepted via the internet. There is a link on our website with all the information you need to register. The conference program looks sensational and is an event that must be included on every professional herbalist's calendar.

A reminder: You still have until 31 March to enter the competition for the full member free conference registration or the student $750 bursary. Details can be found in Access, the NHAA website under the conference section or contact the NHAA office on nhaa@nhaa.org. au or (02) 8765 0071.

John Baxter BHSc ND DBM MNHAA President National Herbalists Association of Australia PO Box 45 Concord West 2138 or president@nhaa.org.au

NHAA website

Those of you who went online late last year will have discovered that our website had been hacked and infected with a Trojan. This diverted you to a foreign website advertising a pharmaceutical medication for men. The infection has been removed by our new web developers who are working on a new website with improved features (including security) and accessibility. By the time you read this article the new website should be live.

This is the first step of a significant amount of upgrading for our website and will include a section for online payments of membership fees, conference and seminar registrations and much more. Please keep an eye on our new and exciting website.

John Baxter BHSc ND DBM MNHAA President National Herbalists Association of Australia PO Box 45 Concord West 2138 or president@nhaa.org.au

Advertising Codes

Another issue brought to our attention by members is the mooted changes to the Advertising Codes for Therapeutic Products which include complementary medicines. Mostly this is an issue for manufacturers and sponsors of the products in question. However if the 'Practitioner only' category is discontinued, the concern for our members could be the loss of access to technical data not normally given to the public.

I have discussed this issue at some length with the office of Mark Butler, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health. How the new regulations and codes will be drawn up is still unclear and our concerns were noted. I proposed that in the event the 'Practitioner only' category is abandoned, access to technical data be granted to those practitioners who are members of an organisation recognised for GST exemption purposes. My proposal was accepted as a reasonable and simply enacted solution to the issue. The NHAA will continue to monitor developments and keep you informed.

So 2010 promises to be a very busy year especially with the hosting of our International Conference.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Yours in herbs

John Baxter, President

John Baxter BHSc ND DBM MNHAA President National Herbalists Association of Australia PO Box 45 Concord West 2138 or president@nhaa.org.au
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