The market appetite for botanical raw materials and special ingredients is still strong and innovative, because it’s global. The EC is taking its time to decide on botanicals, are they foods? Are they medicines? How should they be evaluated and regulated in the future? And this has created hurdles for many. Avena is frequently asked is there a list? Well as yet, there is no EU harmonised list of what botanicals (plants, herbs, fruits) you can put in foods/food supplements. However the countries that brought us waffles, haute cuisine and pasta could provide the answer to what botanicals are foods. The Belgians, French and Italians have got together to combine all their own national botanical lists under the BELFRIT project. They are considering botanicals as foods based on; traditional evidence, safe use, scientific names, and safety of chemical components. What Avena has also found key to defining botanicals at a regulatory level is how they are made and extracted; a dry crushed herb in a capsule is not considered similar in chemical composition to a herb extract from a solvent. Take Rosemary, great with lamb but also used for hair loss, is it a food, is it a medicine? The answer is not simple, regulations by their nature need to categorise, but botanicals by their nature are multi-functional…with all this in mind, we are looking forward to attending The British Herbal Medicine Association symposium on 28th Oct 2013 at Kew Gardens, London entitled CAN MEDICINE BE YOUR FOOD?