With the "Green Deal", Europe has chosen to put sustainability at the very heart of its social, cultural, scientific, and economic development. Sustainability is recognised as an opportunity to promote greater social justice, within a modern and competitive economic and financial context, whilst at the same time mitigating the effects of environmental and climate crises. This transformation also concerns the healthcare system.
Over the last 200 years, natural substances, the cornerstone of European civilisation, have been relegated to use in "traditional" or "alternative medicine". Now, thanks to the Systems Biology and Systems Medicine platforms and the new European Regulation on Medical Devices Made of Substances introduced by Regulation 2017/745, it is possible to study their therapeutic properties using a rigorous scientific approach that is able to describe their physiological action. This is to the benefit of both humans and, considering their biodegradability, the environment.
The Green Deal objectives aim at protecting the environment in all sectors, including the agricultural one. A sustainable agriculture is fundamental to ensure the health of the environment and the citizens and to provide those natural substances to be used for therapeutic purposes.
However, in order for this opportunity to translate into real progress for Europe, we must start again from "knowledge". The European "Green Deal" makes it possible to support an ambitious plan of human and economic investment, which aims to develop a European Knowledge Platform on Natural Substances for Health. This is a project that involves the leading European experts in research, industry and culture, a project that projects the Europe at the forefront of the world's knowledge of natural substances. It is a process that must be defined in agreement with the European regulatory authorities, with the aim of designing a scientifically innovative and robust platform that can be concretely translated into new health solutions.