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Ray's picture
Tue, 08/14/2012 - 19:46 -- Ray


Well well well! What a fortnight it's been.

Here at the Happy Herb Company we've been brought right into the centre of another storm of regulation coming from Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

About 3 weeks ago we received advice that the TGA had made a decision to ban a compound called 1,3 Dimethylamylamine or DMAA. What a shock! The decision was made with only a 2 week lead in time and in circumstances we've never seen before!

To give you a bit of background, DMAA has been included in loads of different products from body building and weight loss supplements to many different legal high products.

At HHC we're right into lobbying for the herb cause and for our right to enjoy safe, legal highs as well as providing addiction alternatives and we've found that DMAA in safe, restricted dosages has been a fantastic substance in these regards.

Many of our most popular legal highs have included DMAA with thousands of happy customers safely enjoying the energising and euphoric effect.

The TGA's final decision to add DMAA to Appendix C of the SUSMP or Poisons Standard has been one of their heaviest recent decisions comparable to the banning of all synthetic cannabinoids earlier this year and has shown us yet again just what this institution is about.

Like the banning of synthetic cannabinoids it seems that much of the pressure to ban DMAA has come from mining companies who, with all their power, might and money drawn from damaging the land lobby this faceless government body to achieve their own ends. Ends that are totally against freedom and the public interest at large.

This most recent scheduling decision has made it clear that the way that the faceless TGA behaves is totally contrary to public interest. Initial submissions were called for about 8 weeks ago but this call out was only publicised on the TGA website and to subscribers of the TGA newsletter. Then, when the first 'interim' decision was made, only those who had already made submissions could make further comments! This means that the public who may not have been aware of the issue in its early stages no longer had any right of reply to the body making decisions on their behalf.

How can such a process be in the public interest I ask!?! Sounds a whole lot more like stifling public debate to me!

To add to the ugliness of this whole nasty process it has been impossible to know how the TGA committee makes its decisions. As industry and members of the public we have been unable to find out what the 'standard of proof' for finding something to be a 'dangerous substance' which makes the situation really scary.

This really is a big point and something that has really been highlighted during this recent experience with DMAA. I'll write more about in the future but for now I'll flag a couple of the most interesting and disturbing aspects:

The way the TGA currently operates means that the process is anything but transparent. Decisions that effect all of our freedom are made by a group of people who offer very little transparency or opportunity for interaction. These decisions are made with no clear standard of proof and worse, ON OUR BEHALF! Or so they say.

Of course, being a herbal company Happy Herbs will always focus most of its efforts on maintaining natural plant and herb freedom. However, what we can see through this experience of DMAA is that there is nothing to stop this institution from simply 'deciding', with no proof, that something, anything can be banned potentially even something as beneficial as Chamomile or Blue Lily or Damiana!!

How can we safeguard these wonderful plants if we don't know what stands against them?

I would say that decisions that create more 'illicit drugs' and focus on prohibition and punishment are anything other than made in the public interest. This most recent course of events shows that the TGA is more focused on completely banning products useful for addiction interruption and safer legal alternatives than they are on real regulation, public health or safety. What's more, they infringe upon our right to engage with our own bodies as we see fit. They impinge on our freedom of choice.

It seems to me that the money bags of the pharmaceutical and mining industries are holding the cards of influence of the TGA and we need to pull together to lobby for the herbs and plants that we care about! And for ourselves!

The great thing about an issue like this is that it can provide just the wake up call we need to bring issues like these into the public consciousness and start a real movement for positive change. If you believe in plant freedom, herb lore not law or that we've a right to know and be involved in the decisions that affect us, START LOBBYING!!!

Write to your Local Member and State Member!

Write to the Health Department in your State!

Hey! Write to the TGA direct!

Lets start to demand some transparency and take care of the things that matter.

Submitted by Peterjon (not verified) on

Why don't they leave it natural and to an age of consent that was imposed people were adults with an informed choice.


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