§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce simplified registration schemes for herbal remedies under the provisions of the amendments made by the European Parliament to the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive. 
§ Ms Blears
If the proposed Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products is agreed we would plan to introduce a regulatory scheme for traditional herbal 297W remedies, as would be required under the current proposals. If the scope of the Directive is extended to give member states flexibility to introduce or retain simplified registration arrangements for other categories of traditional medicines we would in principle be open to the use of such flexibility. We would intend to have more detailed discussions with interested parties on this latter issue when the prospects for the amendment proposed by the European Parliament become clearer.
§ Ms Blears
Potentially any herbal remedy could put health at risk if taken in sufficient quantity. The proposed Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products is under negotiation in Europe. The current proposals would ensure that traditional herbal remedies registered under the scheme were accompanied by systematic information about dosage and other information relating to the safe use of the product. This contrasts with the current position for unlicensed remedies under Section 12(2) of the Medicines Act 1968 where there are no such specific requirements for information to be given.