Placenta Services in Europe should NOT be stopped by Novel Food Regulation (EC) 258/97

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Placenta Services in Europe should NOT be stopped by Novel Food Regulation (EC) 258/97

This petition had 6,357 supporters
IPEN Placenta Network started this petition to Food Standards Agency (Novel Foods)

This petition aims to protect new mothers choice to boost their post-pregnancy health in a 100% natural way.

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We are asking the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to make an exception in the (EC) 258/97 regulation for placenta services for new mothers in Europe. 

Women might be stripped of their human right to birth services in the UK by the Food Standards Agency. We have just 25 days to convince the FSA their decision is breaching human rights and should be urgently reconsidered. 

Consuming the placenta after birth in the form of smoothies and capsules (known as placenta encapsulation) has grown in popularity in the UK because placenta remedies have been reported to reduce post-natal bleeding, increase milk supply, improve energy levels, avoid the baby blues and post-natal depression and regulate post-natal hormones.  Many women hire a professionally trained placenta specialist to make their placenta remedies so they can focus on their newborn and healing themselves after birth. More information about the benefits of placenta encapsulation

IPEN (Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network) based in the United Kingdom is an International network of over 100 trained and certified placenta specialists.  IPEN Specialists are birth doulas, NHS and private midwives and health practitioners. As a network they have been offering placenta services to new mothers in their local areas for over 5 years. Many NHS hospitals and midwives promote placenta services to pregnant women because of the consistent reported health benefits associated with consuming the placenta after birth. 

Over 2,000 UK mothers and many more thousands in USA, Canada and Australia practice placenta consumption every year. Even celebrities like January Jones, Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Stano and Holly Maddison have publically promoted the health benefits of consuming their own placentas.  

These important and unique services are at serious threat of extinction.   

On 11th June 2014, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) classed human placenta as a novel food under EU Council Regulation (EC) 258/97.  

"The Agency is not aware of any evidence for a history of consumption of such products anywhere in the EU before May 1997 and we are therefore minded to view them to be novel foods, which cannot legally be sold until they have been formally authorised.  Any operator who wishes to market foods containing human placenta in the EU will need to apply for an authorisation under Regulation (EC) 258/97.  Such an authorisation would require the submission of a dossier to one of the 28 EU Member States, demonstrating that the ingredient (a) does not present a risk to the consumer; (b) does not mislead the consumer; and (c) is not nutritionally disadvantageous compared with other foods that it might replace in the diet. 

Under Regulation 258/97, a novel food or ingredient is defined as one that was not consumed to a significant degree in the European Community before 15 May 1997.  Novel foods and food ingredients may only be marketed if they have been evaluated and authorised under the procedures defined in the regulation.  Human placenta and products derived from human placenta have not been authorised under this regulation."  Novel Foods Unit, Food Safety Policy view full letter from FSA

I have been informed by our food safety expert that the novel food application process takes roughly 2-3 years, requires extensive laboratory testing, plenty of legal representation and a great deal of financial backing. It would be absolutely impossible for IPEN (a grassroots group of doulas and midwives who provide placenta services) to apply through this process because of our lack of resources and finances.

We have been given a deadline of 11 July 2014 by the FSA to prove that human placenta is not a novel food or to request the FSA to make an exception in this regulation for post-natal placenta services paid for by a mother who wishes to consume her own placenta. One month will not be sufficient time for IPEN to prove significant history of consumption of these products in the EU before 15 May 1997.

This decision by the FSA is clear breach of human rights and takes away mothers choice and right to birth services.  

We need your help to prove to the FSA that mother’s should not have their own placentas named a novel food. Mothers own their own placentas and have every right to hire whomever they choose to make their placenta remedies for them after birth.  

IPEN specialists do not sell placenta products to the public. IPEN placenta specialists provide and are paid for a 'service' in which they prepare and preserve a mother’s placenta to be consumed by that mother only. Ownership of the placenta and the placenta remedies remains with the mother at all times.

We require URGENT ACTION and your help, please sign our petition. 

As you can imagine the decision will not only impact on the livelihood of the 100 placenta specialists around Europe but most importantly, the health and well-being of the many thousands of women who have benefited from placenta services in the past and the many thousands who wish to benefit from placenta services in the future.  

The most likely outcome to IPEN placenta specialists being prevented from offering these services is that professional placenta services will 'go underground' and mothers will involve family, friends and birth doulas in utilising their placentas. People who have not trained and are not aware of the hazards of food handling, blood born disease and disinfection routines.

Please sign our petition to encourage the FSA to reconsider the classification of placenta services under the novel food regulation. 

"Every new mother has grown her own placenta herself, she owns her own placenta and reserves the human right to consume it and control who prepares it for her." Lynnea Shrief, IPEN Founder and Director

                                             IPEN Placenta Network Website 

In the Media: The Sunday Independent 15 June 2014 - Mothers face ban on taking placenta pills 

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