An industry sector is saving the State money, but is being regulated out of existence.

May 31, 2012

Healthfood stores in Ireland play a key part in frontline and primary healthcare by:
• providing free advice and guidance to the public in relation to making dietary and lifestyle changes for promoting sustainable health
• helping hundreds of thousands of people annually deal with minor self limiting ailments
• reducing the pressure on our public healthcare system, by relieving demand on already hard pressed GP services and A&E departments

Did you know that:
a. More than 50% of the Irish population currently avail of natural health care?

b. The vast majority of herbal products will no longer be available for purchase by consumers after 30th April this year, due to onerous regulation under the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive?

c. Food supplements (i.e. vitamins and minerals) will become increasingly unavailable at effective dosages under the Food Supplements Directive? The Irish public has been availing themselves of these levels for the past 40 years to promote and safeguard their health.

d. It has been calculated that as a result of the current directives as many as 50% of the present healthfood stores could be put out of business? The retail sector alone counts for about 1,000 jobs. Combined with the wholesale sector we’re looking at a loss of up to 3,000 jobs.

While this Association has been advocating regulation of natural health products since the 1980’s, the above regulations are both inappropriate and disproportionate. IAHS President Jill Bell, commented, “The net result of all this heavy-handed regulation will be to greatly reduce the Irish public’s access to natural means for safeguarding their health.” 

She continued, “Rather than fulfilling the EU’S stated aim of trade harmonization, some of this regulation may well constitute a barrier to trade between Ireland and other Member States”, adding, “A prime example of this is the fact that on our own island people can purchase some herbal remedies in Northern Ireland which are unavailable in the Republic.”

Partners of Health Stores Ireland