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Historic Symposium on Regulation of Herbal Medicines Planned

Rockville, MD— ACES, the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies will present a one-day symposium titled “To Regulate or Not to Regulate: The Approach for Herbal Medicines.”

This groundbreaking symposium brings together, for the first time, herbal practitioners, scientists, and the federal government, to give serious consideration to the pros and cons of regulation of medicines derived from plant materials.

The one-day symposium will be held from 9:30 A.M. to 6 P.M. on Wednesday, May 21, 2008, on UMBI’s Shady Grove Campus, 9600 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville MD

Herbal medicines, derived from plant materials, are a major component of traditional medicines, also known as complementary or alternative medicine. The World Health Organization estimates that the growing global market for herbal medicines currently exceeds $60 billion.

The roles played by government in promoting safe and effective use of herbal medicines currently differs dramatically between the United States and Europe. In several European countries, herbal preparations are standardized and quality-controlled in much the same way as pharmaceuticals. Approval of the safety and efficacy of such preparations is relatively rapid.

In the United States, in contrast, herbal preparations can only be marketed as food supplements, which means that they are not subject to the same sorts of standardization and quality control.

Consequently, herbal preparations have a very different status in the United States, as compared to Europe, These differences have major ramifications in terms of health and the economy.

Symposium at a Glance:

The first panel will consist of herbalists and practitioners who will share with the audience their views on whether regulatory guidelines are needed or not.

The second panel will feature scientists and physicians who are performing clinical trials on certain herbal remedies as therapeutics for human use.

Lunch time speaker, author Simon Mills will present the international view of the ever growing herbal supplement market and how other countries are dealing with the issue of regulatory guidelines in this field. Lunch will be available for a $20 fee; please RSVP to Meg Brewer,, (240) 314-6274.

The third and final panel is the federal perspective that will cover current thinking and barriers as viewed by members from the FDA, NIH, USDA and NIST - all who have input on developing regulatory guidelines and standards for the use of herbal medicines.

Mr. Robert Duggan, President of the Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts will present the keynote speech, titled "Perspectives on Herbal Medicine: Where do we go from here?"

About ACES:

The Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies (ACES) is a new partnership of Frostburg State University, West Virginia University, and UMBI, the biotechnology institution of the University System of Maryland. ACES’ mission is to study native plants with medicinal or other useful properties, to promote conservation of those plants and Appalachian ecosystems as a whole, to preserve Appalachian culture as it relates to wild plant harvesting and traditional use, and to work with local businesses to bring economic benefits to the region from managed development of botanical resources.

For more information about ACES, please contact Linda Steele at 301-687-4137, or

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589