Home > Current Events > Year 2011 May
A review of stories making the headlines.

Cross-strait traditional Chinese medicine meeting held in Taipei
Focus Taiwan News Channel, 26 April 2011

A cross-Taiwan Strait traditional Chinese medicine meeting attracted more than 400 officials and academics from both sides of the Taiwan Strait. China's Deputy Health Minister Wang Guoqiang said that under a "bridge-building" project initiated by Taiwan, the two sides have formed a task force to push for substantive cross-strait cooperation in traditional Chinese medicine. The project was promoted by Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in November 2008 to facilitate industries on both sides to cooperate on technology development, production and marketing, as well as investment.

New California acupuncture bill traumatology
HealthCMI, 4 May 2011

An amendment to current acupuncture law has been introduced into the California State legislature by Senator Yee. The bill, SB628, creates a new licensing process for qualified applicants to become 'certified traumatologists.' which defined as the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders through the stimulation of acupressure points with hands-on techniques. Treatment modalities include traction, massage, and manipulation techniques "to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships, a technique called bone-setting." The bill calls for the California Acupuncture Board to establish the criteria required for the certified traumatology license and establishes fees and licensing parameters. The bill also calls for the designation of "acupuncturist" to become "Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner."

Chinese dogs rescued from dinner table
BBC News, 6 May 2011

Animal rights activists in China have rescued nearly 500 dogs destined for the dinner table after stopping a truck carrying the animals. They bought the dogs from the lorry driver for $18,000 (óG11,000) following a stand-off by the roadside involving the police. The animals are now recovering at a compound on the outskirts of Beijing and at a number of animal hospitals around the city. The incident illustrates how a growing number of Chinese people now view dogs and cats as pets rather than protein. It also reveals how China has an expanding animal rights movement; people who are prepared to take action on the streets.

Recall of mercury-tainted proprietary Chinese medicine
Hong Kong Department of Health, 6 May 2011

The Department of Health in Hong Kong ordered the wholesaler of a proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm), Wah Ning Chinese Medicine Co, to recall from consumer a batch (batch no.: 20101028) of 41 boxes of [Hua Tuo Brand] Youzhi Baoying Dan (Registration no.: HKP-10296) as it has been found to contain excessive mercury. The action was called for after a surveillance sample from the above batch obtained by DH inspectors from the market found by the Government Laboratory to contain about two times the permitted limit of mercury. The drug is known to be used in children for the treatment of generalised discomfort like restlessness at night or fever.

China's drug watchdog launches campaign to ensure medicine safety
English.news.cn, 9 May 2011

China's State Food and Drug Administration is set to launch a nationwide probe into the quality of essential drugs in a bid to protect people from problem medication. The drugs being looked at are those deemed to satisfy the basic healthcare needs of the majority of the population. The two-month examination will look closely at how drugs are produced and where their raw materials are sourced, said an online notice issued by the Administration. The production process of traditional Chinese medicine will also be looked at. According to industry analysts, China's major problems with drug safety are in the areas of anti-infection drugs and traditional Chinese medicine.

ISO committee tackles TCM standards
Natural Products Insider, 11 May 2011

Representatives from 14 countries attended the second plenary meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 249 (TC249) on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), in The Hague, Switzerland. Focus was on structural issues, such as formation of working groups of experts for key areas of interest under TC249, including raw materials, manufactured products, medical equipment, and informatics. Also discussed were projects on ginseng seeds and seedlings; acupuncture needles; and a coding system for herbal ingredients. Other activities will be considered and can be proposed.

China and Taiwan seek to make most of medical tourism
Internal Medical Travel Journal, 12 May 2011

Shanghai will promote medical tourism by increasing overseas marketing. It has a medical tourism products and promotion agency, Shanghai Medical Tourism Products & Promotion Platform (SHMTPPP) which is jointly supported by five municipal bureaus to offer a link between patients and Shanghai hospitals, and will focus on its specialties, gamma knife therapy, traditional Chinese medicine and stem cell technology. The Taiwan government plans to develop special international medical zones too. It is currently seeking some private investment for the planned project at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that has a target of 40,000 medical tourists.

Ask for extra bamboo in chow mein for added health benefits
The Independent, 13 May 2011

According to a review published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, young bamboo shoots offer a range of health benefits that include antioxidant, anti-cancer, weight loss, digestion and anti-bacterial properties. Young bamboo shoots are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and fiber, and are low in fat and sugar, said a team of researchers at Panjab University in India, as they grow without the application of fertilizers. Bamboo shoots could become a sustainable, nutritious or "functional" food staple in the fast-paced market for the next big thing, researchers say.

Price surge poses serious challenge to traditional Chinese medicine
Global Times, 23 May 2011

The cost of traditional Chinese medicines including ginseng tablets and remedies for treating children's lung diseases has surged recently, raising concern from consumers. This has been interpreted as a blow to the nation's intangible cultural heritage. The Ministry of Commerce issued the first guidelines for the development of traditional Chinese medicine, emphasizing the government would regulate the herb market over the next five years, focusing on tests of harmful material residue and quality inspections, as well as establishing a raw material storage system.

Sichuan Food and Drug Administration denies quality problems of Shuzhong Pharma drugs
Global Times, 24 May 2011

The Sichuan Food and Drug Administration denied saying that the Chinese-patented drugs produced by Sichuan Shuzhong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. had quality problems. The conclusion was drawn from daily supervision and evaluation of the Company's operations and products. The temporary inactivity and current internal reforms of the Company are accounted for by its violations of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in its process of manufacturing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the report said. A researcher said that issues with the quality of medicine were likely to become more common than before, as costs of materials used for TCM were inflating while prices of essential drugs had been sharply reduced by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). He added that in the medical market lower prices for drugs are also highly instrumental in helping the relevant company to win bids.

Compiled By:
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Tweety Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.