Home > Current Events > Year 2013 July
A review of stories making the headlines.

Pesticides are found in herbal cures: investigation finds Chinese remedies contain potentially toxic levels of chemicals
dailymail.co.uk, 30 June 2013

An investigation into traditional Chinese remedies readily available in the UK found many contain a potentially toxic cocktail of chemical residues. All the products are among the most commonly dispensed by herbalists for medicinal use, and considered popular amongst health-conscious consumers and Asian communities. People in the industry hope the UK and EU medicine authorities will soon introduce appropriate standards for quality control of medicinal herbs including Chinese medicinal herbs, they strongly feel that food standards are not appropriate for the quality control of herbal medicines.

Rebalancing body on dog day
thestandard.com.hk, 2 July 2013

In old days, people in northern China dealt with illnesses arising from the cold weather by applying a warm herb on the back or neck to keep runny noses and sneezing at bay, especially for toddlers. Today, this method is becoming increasingly popular for HK children suffering from allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma. The herb that used in moxibustion gives patients yang energy and allows their body to resume a balanced state. The hottest days of the year (usually in July and August) are the best times for our body to absorb yang energy from the herbal drug paste and from the environment.

China organizes upscale hookup event to net desirable housewives for millionaires
business-standard.com, 2 July 2013

Over 500 single women participated in an upscale matchmaking event organized by the China Entrepreneurs' Club for wealthy single men. The club charges an annual fee of RMB$ 200,000 to provide carefully selected and screened lineup of ladies, through rigorous rounds of intelligence exam, psychological evaluation and a life skill test. A TCM practitioner checks the pulse of the ladies to determine the health and character of the candidate too.

Treating TB: what needs to be done to improve treatment rates
redorbit.com, 2 July 2013

People with tuberculosis (TB) in China often delay going to see a doctor for more than two weeks, finds research in BioMed Central・s open access journal BMC Medicine. Reasons for this include a poor understanding of TB, not covered by health insurance, and using traditional approaches first. Even after going to a clinic there were still delays in treatment, especially in rural areas, due to a lack of qualified medical staff. This meta-analysis of behavior in seeking diagnosis and treatment for TB included almost 40,000 patients.

Pesticides found on Chinese herbs bought in Canada
cbc.ca, 3 July 2013

Greenpeace is raising red flags about herbs used in TCM; the investigation conducted in seven countries also took samples from stores in Chinatowns in Toronto and Vancouver, and sent them to an independent lab in China for analysis. Some of those who sell Chinese medicine say there are safeguards in place at both local and federal levels. Health Canada says it has not detected the presence of pesticide in TCMs sold in Canada, the federal ministry said over the past five years, government labs have analyzed samples of traditional herbs where toxic residue was suspected but so far none has ever been detected.

Space breeding seeds to bring benefits to TCM
English.news.cn, 4 July 2013

The growth cycle of seeds for two plant species (Amur Cork-tree Bark and Atractylodes chinensis), that used in TCM, could be shortened after being bred in space. With the experience in space, the effective components they contain will also be strengthened. It will bring relief to any supply shortage of TCM raw materials, according to a company. The company will implement trial planting after space breeding seeds are cultivated and selected, the whole process will take four to six years.

Chinese medicine plays by Western rules to gain acceptance
chinaeconomicreview.com, 5 July 2013

In China, the domestic market of TCM is worth roughly US$55.9 billion as of 2012, up from US$10.9 billion. TCM represents 38% of pharma sales as of 2012. That・s largely because TCM makes up 46% of drug reimbursement under Chinese medical insurance. The market will continue to boom, because Chinese medical insurance schemes are being broadened and more rural residents on rudimentary insurance are being brought into more comprehensive urban plans.

First school of acupuncture in Texas approved to offer MBA and MBA in healthcare management
bionews-tx.com, 5 July 2013

Texas Health and Science University has received New Program Approval for two new programs: Master of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management. The University is a comprehensive, for-profit educational institution advised by a volunteer Board of Governors. The school offers Bachelor・s, Master・s and Doctoral degrees in TCM, and has been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine since 1996.

Hengqin park about more than medicine
macaubusinessdaily.com, 8 July 2013

The Hengqin Island authorities and the Macau government have set out the sort of businesses they wish to attract to the TCM park. The park was meant to be :an international Chinese medicine technology hub; for quality control, certification and exchanges. It will cover 50,000 square metres and will be built in four phases, the last of which will be completed by 2020. The work on the first phase would gradually start within this year, which will have a TCM accreditation center, a training and communication center and other facilities.

Traditional Chinese Medicine nonsignificant effect in stroke
healthitpedia.com, 9 July 2013

The Chinese Medicine Neuroaid Efficacy on Stroke recovery (CHIMES) study was published online in Stroke. The authors note that pharmacologic studies have demonstrated that some traditional Chinese medicines have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, vasodilatory, antiplatelet, antiglutamate, and protective effects against ischemia and reperfusion injury. However, meta-analyses of studies in stroke have concluded that the evidence for efficacy and safety is scanty because of the lack of well-designed, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Bureau suspends clinic over fake patient records
taipeitimes.com, 11 July 2013

A TCM clinic has been suspended from the National Health Insurance system for up to 6 years for falsifying patient records. It was the second offense by the clinic. The clinic fleeced the system of more than NT$100,000 by fabricating patient records, the decision was the most severe penalty since launched. Before amendments to the regulations were passed this year, medical facilities that failed to abide by the rules only faced up to one year・s suspension at the most.

Ga. college partners with Chinese University
northjersey.com, 11 July 2013

Georgia Regents University has partnered with a Chinese university to create an institute focused on advancing Chinese language studies and enhancing multicultural awareness. The Confucius Institute is a partnership between GRU and Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine that aims to provide language and culture instruction to health professionals. The institute is slated to open in 6 months, and the partnership will also feature a museum showcasing exhibits focused on TCM.

Anhui Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine seeks chiefs through global recruitment
english.anhuinews.com, 13 July 2013

Anhui Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicines is looking for chiefs globally for its research institutes. It is the first time that the university seeks to recruit overseas talents. The requirements include under 60 years old, able to work over 3 months a year and experience in international research projects in the past 5 years. The university shall offer job subsidies of RMB$ 100,000 to each expert a year, and RMB$ 300,000 shall be awarded to the expert whose performance meets the requirements of the university at the end of the service.

Traditional Chinese medicine exports go up in first five months
China Daily, 15 July 2013

Fuzhou administration of customs reported that from January to May, the total amount of exported TCM and Chinese patented drugs hit 1,655 tons, 1.6 times the amount from the same time period last year. The total worth reached $33.55 million, an increase of 85.8 %. ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries were the biggest importer of TCM, importing 833.7 tons, half of the export amount of the province. Exports to Hong Kong and Taiwan were increasing rapidly too.

Saint Martin's University offers free workshops on traditional Chinese medicine
theolympian.com, 15 July 2013

Students and faculty from Shanghai University of TCM are leading workshops at Saint Martin・s University, and several events are free and open to the community. People can stop by the Lacey university to view an exhibit of items shipped from Shanghai University・s museum, such as a photo-electrical human acupuncture model, a TCM chest, herbal specimens and other items. During the past several years, Shanghai University students have visited South Sound as part of academic and cultural exchange programs with Saint Martin・s.

Chinese medicine facility touted for Goulburn
abc.net.au, 16 July 2013

A delegation of Chinese government officials visited Goulburn to look at the viability of opening a $220 million TCM training facility in the city. Goulburn Mayor Geoff Kettle says a development company had purchased the old Kenmore Hospital several years ago, which is headed by a Chinese-Australian investor. The proposal includes a plan to develop associated healthcare facilities and to produce organically grown Chinese herbs and plants, where will be opened to Australian students who might want to broaden their horizons into the style of medicine.

Sweden・s food safety watchdog finds arsenic in Chinese herbal remedy
rawstory.com, 16 July 2013

Sweden・s food safety watchdog had found :extremely high; levels of arsenic in a Chinese herbal remedy, called niu huang chieh tu pien (鏡狐r), which is claimed by online vendors of TCM to cure numerous conditions, including toothache, skin infections, anorexia and fever in infants. :The recommended dose provides a daily amount of inorganic arsenic which in a worst case scenario equals half a lethal dose,; said Leif Busk, a toxicologist at the National Food Agency. Local authorities in Stockholm have issued a warning to other European countries through an EU alert system.

China launches crackdown on pharmaceutical sector
independent.ie, 17 July 2013

China announced a nationwide crackdown on the sale of illegal medicine and said it would tighten industry regulation. The State Food and Drug Administration said the six-month campaign would also target illegal online drug sales and fake TCM. It gave no details on possible changes to regulation. Last August, Chinese police detained almost 2,000 people in a sweep on fake drugs, seizing more than $180 million worth of counterfeit products and destroying some 1,100 production facilities.

Illegal TCM workshops discovered in N China
Xinhua, 20 July 2013

An investigation by food and drug safety regulators has revealed the existence of multiple workshops that illegally store and process TCM. In the city of Anguo, the administration found many workshops that are not properly equipped and with poor sanitation. In one of the workshops, they even found forged approval certificates, similar workshops were found in other villages in the city too. The investigators also found that banned pesticides are widely used to grow medicinal herbs in there.

Two men accused of selling Viagra-style products to face trial
independent.ie, 22 July 2013

Two practitioners of TCM are to face trial in a Dublin court for illegally selling prescription controlled Viagra-like products. The prosecution has been brought by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB), Ms Hui Wang and Mr Peng Zhang face summons for breaking medicinal products regulations. The charges can result maximum fines of a2,000 as well sentences of up to 12 months imprisonment per offence.

Chinese herbal medicine appears to be an effective treatment for vascular dementia
news-medical.net, 23 July 2013

A study published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 18, 2013) evaluated the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal medicines for vascular dementia by performing a meta-analysis. The results suggested that Chinese herbal medicine appears to be safer and more effective than control measures in the treatment of vascular dementia. Chinese herbal medicines for vascular dementia exert characteristics of syndrome differentiation of TCM, and have good potential in the clinic.

Chinese woman dies after eating toad soup as medicine
zeenews.india.com, 28 July 2013

A Chinese woman died and her husband fell ill after eating boiled toads to cure themselves from liver cirrhosis and cancer. Toads have long been used in TCM and is believed can reduce body heat, remove toxins and kill cancer tumors. The couple asked their son to bring live toads from Jiangsu Province. They ate the soup on the morning and had to be to a hospital by afternoon. The woman died in evening while husband was reported to be stable.

MOHW touts Chinese medicine monitoring system
Taiwan Today, 30 July 2013

Ministry of Health and Welfare has worked to establish a quality management system for Chinese medicinal herb. It is in the process of setting up for tracing the movement of products and providing relevant online information, which features names of the product and producer, country of manufacture, sources of ingredients, indications and possible allergic and other side effects. Once ready, quality problems can be more easily solved through better product tracing and enhanced communication, key aspects in protecting human health and helping businesses build public trust and brand image.

Chui meets with Tung Wah hospitals・ administration
macaudailytimes.com.mo, 31 July 2013

The Chief Executive, Chui Sai On, met the board of directors of the Tung Wah Hospital Group to exchange ideas on health services and share experiences with the aim to further cooperation. Chui Sai On emphasized the role played by Tung Wah Hospitals in developing and promoting TCM by exploring a medical service integrating both eastern and western practices. Looking to expand TCM in Macau, the Chief Executive revealed the Hong Kong concept, used by Tung Wah Hospitals, might serve as a reference point for Macau.

Rise in number of Nepalese wild tigers despite Chinese poachers
asianews.it, 31 July 2013

For the first time in 40 years, Nepal has 198 specimens of wild tigers, an increase of 63% compared to 2009. The last census on tigers dates back to four years ago, which had tracked 121 specimens. Nepal started to "count" its tigers only from the 70s, with the approval of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029 BS and the launch of the Tiger Ecology Project. At the time, the great felines were just 70. It is said that the greatest threat comes from China, Traditional Chinese culture encourages the use of meat and other tiger parts in different medicines.

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