Saturday, 5 March 2016
Solidarity with French Herbalists
Translated from Le Parisien:
"The herbalist Jean-Pierre Raveneau was sentenced on Wednesday to a one year suspended prison sentence for the "illegal practice of pharmacy" which will be imposed if he practices again.
The Paris court also sentenced him for the "marketing or distribution of drugs without a marketing authorization, opening a pharmaceutical facility without permission and smuggling prohibited goods (the herbs)". It matched the conviction with a three year probation.
A year in prison and € 50,000 euro fine were made against him.
Herbal teas, tinctures, essential oils ... this famous Parisian herbalist on Rue d'Amsterdam, near Place de Clichy, is one of the oldest in Europe. Aficionados could supply themselves with a copper and pestle, unprocessed medicinal plants and mixtures prepared on site in a small laboratory.
Hypertension, H1N1, prostate disorders, psoriasis, malaria, fibroids, herpes or extra strong constipation, Jean-Pierre Raveneau explained to customers that herbs are able to fight 80% of diseases.
The problem in France, since 1941, is that the law allows only pharmacists to order herbs, and their agencies have a virtual monopoly on the exploitation of medicinal plants except for 150 of them considered non-toxic. The last herbalist working under the official order retired in 2000, at the age of 95. And Jean-Pierre Raveneau, although a qualified Doctor of Pharmacy, was not included under the order and did not practice in an authorised dispensary.
"I always felt it was possible having a degree in pharmacy, to practice herbalism" Jean-Pierre Raveneau justified his actions at the hearing, saying he spent much of his life opposing "pharmaceutical monopoly" by obtaining declassification of vitamin C, minerals and trace elements, similar to earlier drugs.
On Wednesday, the court also sentenced the owner of the business and another Parisian herbalist, Nicole Sabardeil, to a three-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of € 2,000 and her company Pharma Concept was given a € 50,000 fine. A reseller, Mamadouba Camara, was given a € 3,000 suspended fine. All defendants will also pay € 2,000 to allay the hurt feelings of pharmacists who took out a civil action against them.
"To sell the products found in their herbalist shop, Mr. and Mrs. Raveneau Sabardeil should have been listed on the Order of Pharmacists," the court ruled. Their institutions are not pharmacies while they were providing retail "medicines" and dispensing "magisterial or official formula".
"Mr. Raveneau created a parallel circuit by following the fashion of alternative medicine," explained a controller from the regional health agency at the hearing. "Plants are the source of drugs. They have virtues but they can also be poisonous. In 2009, he told Raveneau that he was performing an illegal activity, but it did not act to correct it."
The accused pleaded "I did not issue directions, just advice. I sold plants and blends but not drugs. My goal has always been to bring well-being. When I advise on fighting (illness) it is to oppose it, but I've never claimed to cure a particular disease."
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