Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Braga Urge Criminalization Of Making Herbal Medicine False Claims

Davao City Councilor Pilar Braga is urging Congress to craft a law that will criminalize the act of making false claims about medicine and herbal supplements.

Braga said it is high time that the Bureau of Food and Drug as well as the Department of Trade and Industry should look into businessmen who take advantage of the wide acceptability of herbal medicines especially in the province.

The lack of scientific study and guidelines on their efficacy or effects to humans should be enough reason to worry. However, the claim of BFAD that these are food supplements and are therefore not under their jurisdiction makes the situation worse, she said.

Braga said the advertisements for these herbal supplements claim that they have many cures and have good effects on health. Take for example the case of an old man who cannot walk because of arthritis and yet suddenly after taking the herbal supplement he is shown to be able not only walk but even jog, she added.

"Many of these herbal drugs are sold over the counter much like the ordinary medicine," she said. She added that even the DOH encouraged the use of herbal medicines.

These herbal medicines should have been studied and tested by BFAD first before being sold in the market to protect consumers not only from falls claims but also from the possible harmful effects of these products, Braga said.

She said celebrities, doctors and other endorsers of herbal drugs should be held responsible when somebody dies after taking the herbal drugs they endorse. Congress, she said, should craft a law that will criminalize the act of making false claims about medicines or herbal supplements.

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