Home > Current Events > Year 2007 January
A review of stories making the headlines.
Law sets up body to oversee practitioners of Chinese medicine and acupuncture
The Globe and Mail (Canada)  2 January 2007

The Canadian province of Ontario has introduced a law regulating the practice of TCM. This new law, known as Bill 50, is the first step in creating a self-regulating professional body that will be called the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario which should take 2-3 years to set up. The college will be responsible for setting standards, licensing practitioners, establishing disciplinary procedures for malpractice or misconduct and setting up a complaints committee that will look at grievances. The college will establish different classes of TCM to avoid conflicts about who can do what. The classes would differentiate between medical doctors of TCM with advanced education, and practitioners with a general education in traditional medicine. However, some say those who have who have had the skills of TCM passed down through generations rather than formal training will suffer.

New hope for epilepsy sufferers in acupuncture
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)  8 January 2007

A Baptist University TCM Researcher has found that acupuncture is an excellent alternative to vagus nerve stimulation in helping ease epilepsy. Prof. Zhang Hong-qi, said acupuncture had been used for treating epilepsy in China for about 2,000 years, but it had never really been proved scientifically. Prof. Zhang examined the influence of vagus nerve stimulation and electro-acupuncture on mice, which had abnormal brain electrical activities induced by a chemical. The needles were applied at the dazhui acupoint on the mice. The results showed that electro-acupuncture was a viable alternative in reducing abnormal brain electrical activity. Electro-acupuncture was used because it gave a more steady stimulation.

University course not up to scratch
Herald Sun (Australia)  9 January 2007

Victoria University has had to pay $607,000 in compensation to students after failing to have one of its degree courses properly accredited. Their BA in Health Sciences (TCM) did not meet the requirements of the Chinese Medicine Registration Board of Victoria between August 2002 and June 2005. Students who graduated around that time found that they could not practice. After getting accreditation, students had to do more subjects as previous courses were not recognised.

TCM remedies are making a healthy impact in the West
China Daily (Hong Kong Edition)  12 January 2007

Ye Zuguang, director of the National Engineering Center for TCM Compounds thinks that TCM has moved closer to be recognised in both the US and Europe, possibly within three years. Mr. Ye was speaking at a seminar at the end of last month marking the completion of his research center, jointly established by the China Academy of TCM and a leading TCM manufacturer, the Tongrentang Group. The easing of regulations on herbal medicine in the US and the EU has led Chinese TCM manufacturers to conduct several clinical trials of their drugs in the US and to prepare for registration in the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products. The US Food and Drug Administration a few years ago agreed that herbal medicines could be registered as drugs even without clear chemical compounds if they have been used a long time as well as have good clinical trial data. Similarly, the EU has passed a law stipulating that by 2011, herbal products sold in Europe can be registered as drugs based on safety records over a 15-year period.

TCM gets shot in the arm
China Daily (Hong Kong Edition)  12 January 2007

The central government will continue to firmly support development of TCM, commented Vice-Premier Wu Yi at the annual national TCM working conference. This comes after a certain academic late last year suggested that TCM be taken off the official medical system. Wu said measures will be taken to accelerate the development of TCM. It will try to have TCM listed as a world intangible cultural heritage; the government will encourage more TCM exports, protection of TCM intellectual property rights will be strengthened and knowledge about TCM will be included in school textbooks.

Guangxi TCM adherent pinpoints his record
China Daily (Hong Kong Edition)  13 January 2007

Wei Shengchu, an elderly TCM practitioner from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, recently appeared in downtown Chongqing with 800 silver needles on his head. Wei was promoting an acupuncture treatment in silver needles were used. He claimed that they were better than usual acupuncture needles. He started inserting silver needles in his face in 2002 after a Canadian had set a Guinness World Record with 420 needles on both arms. Two years later, Wei made the list with 1,790 silver needles. He said that he would insert 2008 silver needles in his face in 2008 to mark the Beijing Olympic Games.

Scholarship scheme for Taiwanese TCM students to study on the mainland
Xinhua Online (China)  16 January 2007

A mainland Chinese charity has recently launched a scholarship scheme for Taiwanese TCM students studying at mainland universities. The Clifford Group donated US$641,000 to the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation to set up the Clifford Foundation to offer grants to Taiwanese TCM students studying at 11 universities, including the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Every year, 150 Taiwanese undergraduates and graduates will get a scholarship of 5,000 yuan each. Some top students may be able to get a scholarship as high as 20,000 yuan if they make some unique contribution to the development of traditional medicine.

Italy welcomes TCM: Minister
China Daily (Hong Kong Edition)  18 January 2007

Italy ¡¦s Health Minister Livia Turco said she would do more to promote TCM in her country and Europe. She made these comments while inaugurating a laboratory for the manufacture of TCM medication in Tianjin, North China recently. She mentioned that Italy would issue licenses to TCM practitioners in the near future as it has gained in reputation as an alternative health treatment to Western medicine. Currently, Italian doctors who practice TCM still work on temporary licenses, and there are still no standards or regulations for its practice. To meet the growing interest, universities in Rome, Milan and Florence are offering one-year postgraduate courses in TCM. The course includes a two-month internship at Nanjing University of TCM, and their degrees will be recognized in China after passing the examinations.

Chinese herbs offer hope to fight disease
The Australian (Australia)  19 January 2007

Research findings by scientist David Barlow and his colleagues at King's College London that will be published in an upcoming edition of the American Chemical Society's Journal of Chemical Information and Modelling found almost 2,600 compounds could be used in new drugs to fight a host of health problems such as cancer, HIV-AIDS and conditions such as erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure. The researchers discovered 8,264 chemical compounds in the 240 plants studied, with 62 percent containing at least one potential disease-fighting biochemical, with 53 per cent containing two or more. For example, maidenhair and skullcap were packed with five or more active ingredients.

TCM European Alliance
Shanghai Daily News (Shanghai)  31 January 2007

A ¡§European Alliance on TCM¡¨ will be set up by Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Finnish universities such as the University of Kuopio, Savonia University of Applied Sciences and Technology Centre Teknia Ltd. In an agreement setting up the Alliance, Shanghai University of TCM will provide expertise on TCM to promote the coordination of research, education and business activities. The ¡§TCM European Alliance¡¨ will open TCM clinics in Kuopio to spread TCM knowledge throughout Finland.

Compiled By:
Jennifer Eagleton, BA, MA (Asian Studies), Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.