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Banned Chinese medicine in the UK

More than 900 packs of a potentially dangerous traditional Chinese medicine are on the UK market despite warnings issued by the MHRA

More than 900 packs of a potentially dangerous traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are currently on the UK market despite warnings issued by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The unlicensed herbal product - Jingzhi Kesou Tan Chuan Wan - was distributed to 20 TCM and herbal medicine outlets throughout the UK. A recall was initiated by the distributor, Ekong International, in February 2010, however, more than three quarters of the stock brought in from China has still not been returned.

It has been revealed that new labelling in English had been applied to packs to conceal the original label, which contained the Chinese symbols for Aristolochia, a banned toxic and carcinogenic plant derivative.

Exposure to aristolochic acids can result in kidney failure and the development of cancer, particularly of the urinary tract.

The MHRA has written to TCM trade and practitioner associations to ensure that none of their members are supplying the product.

29th March 2010

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