Book Review by Michael Pilarski
WHO Guidelines on Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP) for Medicinal Plants. World Health Organization, 2003. 72 pages. I bought this book in preparation for the Medicinal Herb Growing & Marketing Conference. The main five chapters are only 30 pages. I was expecting a lot of legalese but this is very straightforward and easy to read. I agree by and large with the practices they propose. There is good language to prevent over exploitation of wild plants. In the area of processing facilities I think some requirements are too strict. Doing everything they suggest would require a lot of money. Certainly far beyond what most of the world’s small farmers and wildcrafters can afford. Wildcrafters are traditionally drawn from the poorest ranks of rural society the world over.
Reading this I hope will help prepare me for understanding the current US regulation scene. The section on wildcrafting best practices was interesting to me as a wildcrafter. We’ll have to have some discussion about wildcrafting best practices at the Conference.
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