Prince Charles delayed regulation of herbal medicines

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 14 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2642
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

The Prince of Wales won influence over Prime Minister Tony Blair and delayed the introduction of regulations governing the sale of herbal medicines, letters between the heir to the throne and government ministers have revealed.

The prince wrote to the then prime minister in February 2005 about the European Union’s Directive on Herbal Medicines, claiming that it was having “a deleterious effect on complementary medicine sector in this country by effectively outlawing the use of certain herbal extracts.”

The 27 letters were released on 13 May after orders from the Supreme Court in response to a freedom of information request submitted by the Guardian newspaper 10 years ago.

The EU directive was passed in 2004 after concerns over several …

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