A woman aged 32 was arrested today (August 31) in a joint operation by the Department of Health (DH) and the Police for suspected illegal sale on the Internet of Chinese herbal medicines (Chm) listed in Schedule 2 of the Chinese Medicine Ordinance (Cap 549) (CMO).
Upon receipt of a complaint, the DH initiated investigations and a pack of soup ingredients (no English name, see photo) was purchased from the seller on the Internet. Preliminary investigations revealed that the pack of soup ingredients contained Schedule 2 Chm, Radix Angelicae Sinensis and Radix Astragali. According to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong (CMCHK), the seller was not issued with a licence of retailer of Chm in respect of Schedule 2 Chm by the Chinese Medicines Board under the CMCHK.
"Radix Angelicae Sinensis and Radix Astragali are Chm listed in Schedule 2 of the CMO. Radix Angelicae Sinensis is commonly used for tonifying blood and activating blood, and Radix Astragali is commonly used for tonifying qi and raising the middle qi. No adverse reports in relation to the use of the above product have been received by the DH so far. The investigation is ongoing," a spokesman for the DH said.
According to section 111(1) of the CMO, no person shall sell by retail any Chm specified in Schedule 2 without a retailer licence in respect of such Chm. Offenders are liable to a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and two years' imprisonment upon conviction. After completion of the investigation, the DH will work with the Department of Justice on prosecution matters.
The DH urged the public to buy Chm from licensed shops with a good reputation. Those who have purchased the above soup ingredients from unlicensed Chm retailers should stop taking them immediately. Those who have taken them and are feeling unwell should seek advice from healthcare professionals. People who have the above soup ingredients from unlicensed Chm retailers can submit them to the DH's Chinese Medicine Division on 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, during office hours for disposal.
The public may refer to the lists of licensed Chinese medicine traders on the CMCHK's website (www.cmchk.org.hk/pcm/eng/#main_list.htm).
Ends/Monday, August 31, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:01