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

Traditional Chinese medicine trade takes toll on Indonesia's geckos
Mongabay.com, 1 June 2011

Indonesian geckos are increasingly exported to China, Japan and other Southeast Asian countries, where their dried skins are used in medicine and skincare products. Geckos are not listed by the major conservation organizations as being endangered in Indonesia, which means that keeping, killing or selling them is, within limits, perfectly legal. The country is facing a wildlife crisis, and not just because wildlife habitats are poorly managed and disappearing or being degraded, but also because Indonesia is killing and selling its wildlife to the point that populations are disappearing from even its most remote corners.

NDRC may adjust prices of 102 patent drugs
CapitalVue, 1 June 2011

China's National Development and Reform Committee announced that it will soon adjust prices of 102 traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) ingredients nationwide. Wang Guihua, secretary general of the China Traditional Medicine Association, said prices of raw materials for TCM have risen steadily despite a fall in the price of medical preparations, which drew the attention of central government authorities. The association said that since September 2010, 70 to 80 percent of the 537 ingredients used in TCM have risen year-on-year.

Honeysuckle found to be natural sunscreen
Upi.com, 1 June 2011

Chinese scientists say an extract of the honeysuckle plant can be a natural way to protect people from potentially harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Researchers Ren-Cheng Tang and Sha-Sha Sun say the extract can make a highly effective natural coating for clothing to protect from UV damage. Their research has been published in the American Chemical Society's journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. Traditional Chinese medicine has used honeysuckle for centuries to treat colds and fever.

Toronto councilors launch shark fin ban campaign
CBC News, 13 June 2011

Three Toronto city councilors have launched a campaign aimed at banning the sale and consumption of shark fins in city limits. Councilors John Parker, Glenn De Baeremaeker and Kristyn Wong-Tam launched their campaign and hope to gather 10,000 signatures in support of their cause. Shark fin soup is a traditional dish seen as a status symbol in some cultures, especially at weddings. At restaurants in the Toronto area, a bowl of shark fin soup ranges in price from $25 per bowl to nearly $100. An estimated 73 million sharks are slaughtered every year for their fins, according to WildAid.

US lists 8 common substances as potential cancer risks
CNN, 13 June 2011

United States health authorities have added eight commonly used substances to its official "Report on Carcinogens," saying they may put people at increased risk of developing cancer. The industrial chemical formaldehyde and a botanical substance known as aristolochic acids are listed as "known human carcinogens" while six others, including certain inhalable glass wool fibers and styrene are listed as substances "reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogen," the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced. Aristocholic acid is a natural-occurring botanical substance, which used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine and in some weight-loss herbal medicines.

Tongrentang apologizes for role in scam that fools foreign tourists
People's Daily Online, 13 June 2011

Beijing Tongrentang Co Ltd, the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicine, apologized to the public after a report on one of its retail stores tricked foreigners into buying unnecessary and overpriced medicine. The company said that the medicine was not sold by them but by Beijing Hanci Chinese Medicine Hospital, which is located inside its outlet, even though, the company's stamp was on the invoice that issued by the hospital. The administration has ordered a six-month overhaul on the city's one-day tour business, in order to prevent vendors, tour guides from tricking tourists.

Chinese academic medical journals lack evidence-based rigor, new study finds
Minnpost.com, 14 June 2011

A new study raises serious doubts about the reliability of studies published in Chinese-language academic medical journals. The study, which was published in the open-access journal PLoS One, reviewed 369 meta-analyses published in Chinese journals since 1999. The PLoS authors point out, the quality of these reviews is troubling. They reach no verdict about whether the medical treatments analyzed by these 369 meta-analyses are effective or not. But, based on this study's findings, no one should be citing Chinese-language studies as evidence that they are.

Two SCU students awarded scholarships from Chinese government
Chiroeco.com, 14 June 2011

Two graduate students from Southern California University (SCU) were recently awarded full scholarships from the Chinese government for the Doctoral Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They will start their study at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (BUCM). SCU is the only acupuncture and oriental medicine university in California that is officially recognized by the Chinese Department of Education as a Higher Education Institute. These two graduate students are the only California recipients of Chinese Government TCM Scholarship Program.

Banning commercial seahorse fishing in New York
Long Island Press, 15 June 2011

More than 20 million seahorses are harvested annually to be used in traditional Chinese medicine as treatment for kidney ailments, circulatory problems and impotence. These and other commercial practices are decimating the local seahorse population, which leads New York State lawmakers to pass a ban on commercial seahorse fishing. According to TRAFFIC, more than 20 million seahorses are collected each year, causing some seahorse populations to crash by 50 percent over the last five years.

Study debunks food myths about cancer
The Standard, 17 June 2011

Almost one-third of Hong Kong cancer patients believe that avoiding nutritious food will improve their chances of overcoming the disease, a Chinese University study has revealed. The shock findings follow research into attitudes and behavior related to food avoidance among 150 cancer patients, 173 traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and 150 others. Joseph Lau Tak-fai, associate director of the School of Public Health and Primary Care, who led the study said the study highlights the importance of dealing with common misconceptions and improving the dietary intake of cancer patients. It was sponsored by the World Cancer Research Foundation.

'No investors yet' for Chinese Medicine Park
Macau Daily Times, 18 June 2011

No private investors have offered to invest in the future Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park, the director general of the Administrative Committee of Hengqin New Area said. "We are finishing the planning job and after that the investment prospective will start," he revealed, "enquiries and questions have already been made by companies and institutions." He also promised to find opportunities for local small and medium enterprises to join the development of Hengqin Island.

E jiao maker intent on leaping hair and hide into health food
China Daily, 21 June 2011

Shandong E Jiao Co Ltd, the largest e jiao maker, wants to boost its health food business to grab a big slice of the promising industry, the company said. E jiao, also called donkey-hide gelatine is used in traditional Chinese medicine that can improve blood supply. "We plan to increase the proportion of health food in our product line from 20% to 30% in the next five years, compared with the present 10%," said Qin Yufeng, the general manager. The Chinese health food market became the world's second-largest in 2009, valued at $13.4 billion.

Cross-strait medical, health cooperation pact to take effect
Focus Taiwan News Channel, 25 June 2011

Taiwan and China announced simultaneously that a medical and health cooperation agreement signed late last year was scheduled to take effect. After the pact takes effect, the two sides will cooperate further on combating epidemics, as well as on pharmaceutical safety management and research and development, traditional Chinese medicine research and safety management of Chinese herbal drugs, emergency rescue and other areas on which both sides can agree. According to the terms of the pact, both sides should complete related procedures after the signing of the pact and should notify the other side in written form.

China to permit private clinics in pilot cities
CRIENGLISH, 28 June 2011

The Ministry of Health of China issued a circular that allows individuals to set up private clinics in several pilot cities from July 1, including traditional Chinese medicine clinics. Applicants must be physicians who have worked in health care or medical institutions for five years in total after gaining a physician certification and they must also be healthy and unemployed or retired. The service scope of a private clinic must be in accordance with the physician's professional field, and the clinic must meet various standards set down by the ministry, said the circular. The pilot program will run from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 in Tianjin, Shenyang, Changchun, Xiamen and Kunming.

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