In response to the Food and Drug Administration"s recent crackdown on ephedra and other substances, more than a half-dozen organizations representing the acupuncture, Oriental medicine, herbal medicine and naturopathic professions have come together to form a new group, the Congress on Traditional Herbal Medicine.
The goal of the group is to ensure access to traditional herbal and medicinal substances while promoting public safety.
"Working together, this group has a greater chance of success than any individual group working alone," said Dr. Michael McCoy, executive director of the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance, which is a member of the Congress. "With the FDA banning ephedra products, we are worried that other Chinese herbal medicines will be next. There are no easy answers to the conundrum that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act presents to our practitioners who use and dispense these products legitimately, so it"s important that we take the initiative in finding a solution."
In addition to the Alliance, member organizations include:
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)
American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM)
American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)
Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM)
Medicinal Herb Consortium (MHC)
National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
The Congress officially formed in June 2004, in response to a presentation delivered by AHPA representatives at the Alliance"s most recent meeting in Hollywood, Calif. At present, the Congress" member organizations are planning a meeting to develop a legislative proposal to counter the FDA"s recent actions. For more information on the Congress, contact Dr. McCoy at
, or by phone at (253) 851-6896.