Forest medicines are banned in Ireland after a scaremonger’s claims that they can cure cancer have been proven false.
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Forest medicines have been described as a potential treatment for cancer since the early 1970s, but in recent years the scientific community has questioned the validity of their claims.
A study last year published in The Lancet medical journal concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show that such treatments are effective.
However, Dr Alan McQuade, of the National Institute for Health Research’s Institute of Cancer Research, said it was still possible that they could be effective.
He said the Forest medicinal claims were based on a combination of traditional and modern medicine and the results of previous studies, which were all inconclusive.
Dr McQuide said it would be possible to create a new generation of effective drugs that were safe, effective and not toxic.
However he said that a lot of research was needed to understand the effect of these drugs on human health.
The Department of Health said the move would not affect any existing medicinal products.
In the past year, Irish politicians have been increasingly critical of the practice of drugging, which is estimated to cost the Irish economy more than €100m.
A number of products made from medicinal plants have been recalled after consumers complained that they were unsafe.
Read the article in Irish on RTE’s website.