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AMAM seeks central govt intervention to remove neem from TMHS negative ingredients list

Bangalore (PB): The Association of Manufacturers of Ayurveda Medicines (AMAM) has sought the intervention of the central government to remove neem from the ASEAN list of Negative Ingredients for Traditional Medicine and Health Supplement (TMHS).

Taking strong exception to the action of the Product Working Group (PWG), which included neem in the ASEAN list of Negative Ingredients for TMHS, the Association urged the union government to ensure that negative promotion of neem is banned in the ASEAN region.

In this regard, it has brought the issue to the notice of the union environment and forests minister Jayanthi Natarajan and union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh to intervene immediately in helping to remove neem from negative ingredient list.

“There appears to be a concerted effort to put India into a disadvantageous position in this with this much sought after medicinal plant neem. The matter is serious and will affect all the Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani production as well as the herbal products including cosmetics from India,” stated AMAM honorary general secretary, Pradeep Multani.

The Association is now calling for government action on the issue to ensure that Indian herbal manufacturers are not put into difficulty, he added.

According to a data on the Indian Ayush and herbal products, the global imports of medicinal plants as per the United Nations statistical division SITC Code No. 2924 stood at US$ 1.74 billion during 2009 with a CAGR of 6 percent during the year 2007-09.

Neem extracts are used in the essential oils and as medicinal preparations, stated officials from the Foundation of Revitalization of Local Health Traditions.

As per the data from the Director General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), Kolkata coming under the Ministry of Commerce and also Pharmexcil research, India’s export of Ayurveda, Siddha, homoeopathy medicines and medicaments along with herbal exports are estimated at Rs.1311.91 crore during 2009-10 growing at a CAGR of 23 per cent during the period from 2007-08 to 2009-10.

Netherlands accounts for 73.48 per cent of the cumulative share of exports revenues from the Indian Ayush products. This is followed by China, Latvia, UK, Nepal, USA, Kazakhstan, UAE, Russia and Ukraine.

Extracts of neem is among the top 25 herbal and Ayush commodities of India’s exports. Therefore, we need to make every effort to ensure that neem is removed from the inclusion of ‘azadirachta indica’ or neem/nimba figuring in the ASEAN list of Negative Ingredients for TMHS by the PWG, Multani said.

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