China cracks down on bogus TCM materials

Updated: 2012-07-27 13:33


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BEIJING -- China's food and drug watchdog has initiated a national crackdown on substandard or fake materials used in traditional Chinese medicine production, according to a statement issued Thursday.

Drug producers should ensure that their raw materials come from reliable and stable sources and enhance their tests for heavy metal ions, pesticide residue and aflatoxin in order to ensure drug safety, according to a statement from the State Food and Drug Administration.

The SFDA instructed its local branches to carry out investigations on key areas, including the use of weight increments or coloring additives, contaminated or extractive materials and the improper disposal of waste material.

The campaign will also cover drug distributors and medical institutions using TCM, said the statement.

The SFDA cited insufficient market supplies of TCM as partly to blame for the bogus products.

Official figures show that China's TCM industry was valued at 317.2 billion yuan ($49.7 billion) in 2010.

Moreover, experts forecast that the industry's annual output will exceed 1 trillion yuan by 2015.