Friday, 14 September 2012

Echinacea in Focus

ANH-Intl eAlert: Time to engage, superhumans!

Time to engage, superhumans!

Phew!! With the Olympics and Paralympics over, it’s now our turn to work out in what ways we can inspire ourselves — as well as those around us — to become, or in some cases, stay, physically active. I know for me, on those cold, wet, autumnal or wintery days, the mere thought of the ongoing training programmes that are part and parcel of the lives of those inspirational 2012 Paralympians will be a major trigger to maintain some semblance of physical activity.

Are you planning on using echinacea this winter?

The approach of winter is synonymous with an increase in coughs and colds among the younger members of most families. While some of this may be down to reduced production of vitamin D in response to sunlight, many of us have achieved fantastic results using the wonderful immune-modulating herb echinacea, characterised by its daisy-like red-purple to purple-grey flowers. But now that the UK’s medicine regulator has issued a recommendation to avoid giving this remedy to under 12s, will you follow its advice? I certainly won’t, and today we give our reasons. For those of you who’ve used echinacea on under 12s, we’d be very grateful if you could take a few seconds to answer our poll on the subject. We’re pretty convinced the MHRA is over-reacting, and using irrelevant and outdated data both to give botanical food supplements a kicking and test the waters for future action against herbal products. Help us to ensure that the UK drug regulator acts in ways that are proportionate to given risks — and only when backed by solid data.

EFSA at it again

And we are launching a second poll this week! If you were going to choose an independent auditor to evaluate the controversial Parma-based European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – well known for readily granting approvals for genetically modified (GM) crops, while failing to recognise the health benefits of the vast majority of plant-derived nutrients – would you choose Ernst & Young? To us, Ernst & Young’s latest report that gives EFSA an almost clean bill of health looks a lot like a stitch up. We’d be interested in your view.

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