Home > Current Events > Year 2008 October
A review of stories making the headlines.
Metal-laced Chinese herbal medicine found
Dong-Ilbo (Korea - http://english.donga.com), 2 October 2008

A Korean government report by the Korea Food and Drug Administration has found that 870 tons of herbal medicine imported from China contained high levels of heavy metallic substances. The report said that among herbal medicine imported from China between 2006 and June 2008, 322 items were declared inappropriate and 870.2 tons were destroyed. The medicine exceeded the legal limit of concentration of heavy metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic.

Dolls promote Chinese herbal medicine
China View (www.chinaview.cn), 9 October 2008

Cai Teng, A 70-year-old man, has turned iconic herbal images into cartoon toys in order to make people more aware of traditional Chinese medicine. Cai was merchant in Hong Kong before moving to the Guangdong countryside to plant a garden of over a thousand species of medicinal herbs. Cai has given each of his dolls the names of herbs and the diseases which each can cure. Cai hopes to make a cartoon movie, starring his TCM dolls.

Chinese medicine industry regarded as important element under economic partnership framework
Macau Daily Times(http://www.macaudailytimesnews.com), Saturday, 11 October 2008

The 3rd Chinese Medicine Regional Co-operational Symposium was held at Macau Tower. At the symposium, topics such as "Mainland China and the Overseas Market Opportunity," "Strategy for Developing an International Chinese Medicine Market" and "Operational Experiences for a Successful Chinese Medicine Industry" was discussed. Bi Zhijian, chief of the Economic and Trade Committee of Guangdong province said that the Chinese medicine industry was one of the important items within the CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) framework and closer cooperation would happen in the future.

Agreement with Chinese health ministry to be signed today
Macau Daily Times (www.macaudailytimesnews.com), 13 October 2008

The Macau SAR is forging closer ties with the Central Government on TCM, starting with a cooperation protocol being signed by Chui Sai On and Wang Guojiang. The agreement includes the widening of the SAR program "Promotion of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China". The program is sponsored by the Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a body headed by Wang Guojiang, together with 21 central government departments. An academic forum is also scheduled to be held in tandem with the signing, while a feast was held at Tap Seac Square to kick of the campaign.

China blames tainted ginseng injection in 3 Deaths
The New York Times (www.nytimes.com), 14 October 2008

An extract of the herb Ciwujia, a type of Siberian ginseng, which is injected into patients suffering from thrombosis and heart disease, caused the deaths of three people recently and sickened three others. The State Food and Drug Administration and Ministry of Health said in a joint statement that tests on samples of the herbal injection showed the product had been tainted by bacteria. The drug safety agency ordered the drug's producer, Wandashan Pharmaceutical Company in northeastern Heilongjiang Province, to recall all of its Ciwujia injection products.

Ancient Chinese salad plant transformed into new cancer-killing compound
Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com), October 15, 2008

University of Washington researchers have created a compound from artemisinin that is over 1,200 times more specific in killing certain kinds of cancer cells than currently available drugs, which has implications for a more effective chemotherapy drug with minimal side effects. The new compound is derived from the sweet wormwood plant (Artemisia annua L) commonly used in TCM and which is eaten in salads in some Asian countries. The scientists attached a chemical homing device to artemisinin that targets the drug selectively to cancer cells, sparing healthy cells. In the study, the researchers tested their artemisinin-based compound on human leukemia cells and found it was highly selective at killing cancer cells. The researchers have obtained preliminary results showing that the compound is selective and effective for human breast and prostate cancer cells, and that it effectively and safely kills breast cancer in rats. However, further studies are needed.

Study shows Chinese dietary supplement Xuezhikang lowers risk of heart attack
The Natural News (http://www.naturalnews.com), 26 October 2008

The TCM remedy known as xuezhikang can drastically improve the recovery of patients after a heart attack íV including lowering the risk of repeat attacks íV according to research carried out from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and which published in the American Journal of Cardiology. Xuezhikang is derived from red yeast rice, a patent medicine that has been used for centuries in TCM as a treatment for circulatory disorders. But researcher David M. Capuzzi emphasized that the xuezhikang used in his experiment is not the same as over-the-counter red yeast rice since such supplements are not regulated, so exact amounts of the active ingredient is unknown. Researchers conducted the study on 3,986 men and 884 women in China who had survived a heart attack but still had high cholesterol. The participants discontinued cholesterol-lowering drugs for the study period, and were instead assigned to take either a Xuezhikang capsule or a placebo two times per day. Those taking Xuezhikang had a 45 percent lower risk of repeat heart attacks compared with those taking the placebo.

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