Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Prince Charles: Nice biscuits, shame about the woo!

You may, or may not have heard of Duchy Originals, the company Prince Charles set up in 1990 to produce and promote organic food. Say what you like about organic farming, I personally think it's expensive nonsense (more on that another time!), but his biscuits are bloody nice!

It seems Charlie is diversifying. We've always known he's prone to a bit of woolly thinking and like's his alternative therapies, but it now seems he's started selling them. He's just launched a range of herbal tinctures , encouraging us to try them if we're "suffering from the sniffles".

What's most interesting about this is that he's claiming the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have assessed them and approved them for "safety, quality and efficacy" (my emphasis).

What's interesting about this is that they claim that this was done under the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Product Directive. A little digging by Rob Hinkley at found that this directive doesn't guarantee that remedies are assessed for efficacy, and more importantly that the specific licensing decisions for Charlie's tinctures:

"is based exclusively upon evidence of traditional use as herbal medicine [and] There is no requirement under the Traditional Herbal Registration scheme to prove scientifically that the product works."

It seems therefore that Duchy's originals have been telling (presumably organic!) porkie pies.

Their error has of course been pointed out to them on their blog, though the comment is still "awaiting moderation".

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