China Local Government Tightens on Herb Safety from the Origin
Li Zhenya, the vice-chairman of the Gansu Provincial Committee of the CPPCC, served as the director of the local food and drug administration, has called for stronger government supervision over traditional Chinese medicine, particularly the planting, processing and stocking of herbal medicines.
Exceeding heavy metals, pesticides, microbial contamination, and chemical contamination are common planting factors that decrease TCM efficacy or even harmful to people’s health.
Also, nine-tenth of more than 3,000 TCM traders in Longxi county, in Northwest China's Gansu province - a major TCM planting base of China were not registered with the authority, making it difficult to track the origin of problematic herbal medicines, said Li.
According to the latest report of the Southern Weekly, at least 20 percent of the herbal medicines sold at 17 wholesale markets were counterfeit. It raises the urgency of having quality control and government supervision on the herbal medicines on the market.
It not only affects the development of the entire TCM industry, but also puts consumers' health at risk, said Huang Jianyin, deputy secretary-general of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies.
Compared to Taiwan, the Committee on Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy, Department of Health, Executive Yuan formulated regulations governing the raw herbs at the origins in 2004. The regulations have been implemented since 2011, which can be broke down into three phases: regulation at the place of origin, examinations at national borders, and inspections in the market. The first phase of implantation mainly focus on the top ten import items. Shipments that fail inspection at customs will be destroyed on the spot. This ensures the herb safety for people’s health.
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