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Recall of unsafe product (with photos)

     The Department of Health (DH) has directed a local licensed proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm) manufacturer, Hong Kong Chan Ka Yuen Medical factory, to recall a product named "陳家園疳積散"(商標"馬騮肉") from the market as it was found to have high mercury level.

     A spokesman for DH said following notification by the Hospital Authority about a patient with an incidental finding of an elevated level of mercury in his blood and urine specimens and with a history of taking the concerned product, DH staff immediately initiated case investigation.  A press release advising the public to stop using the concerned product was issued on June 11.

     It was revealed that the product was not a registered proprietary Chinese medicine in Hong Kong. It was produced by Hong Kong Chan Ka Yuen Medical Factory. DH has immediately instructed the manufacturer to stop producing the product.

     DH has also obtained product samples from the market during the investigation. Today, the results revealed that the mercury level ranged from 13,000mcg/g to 15,000 mcg/g, which is much higher than the permitted level of mercury intake according to the registration requirement of a proprietary Chinese medicine.

     The manufacturer has set up two hotlines, 2387 3287 and 9823 3712, for enquiries on the recall of the product.

     Investigation is still ongoing. DH will closely monitor the recall. It will also consult the Department of Justice on possible legal action.

     Members of the public are advised not to buy or use the concerned product. Those who have taken the product should seek advice from healthcare providers as soon as possible.

     The public and traders should also contact the manufacturer for recall arrangement. They may also submit the products to the manufacturer or the DH's Chinese Medicine Division at 2/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, during office hours.

     Chronic exposure to mercury can cause damage mainly to the nervous system and kidneys. Symptoms may include tremors, irritability, insomnia, memory deterioration, difficulty with concentration, impaired hearing or vision, or change in taste.  In the most severe cases, renal failure may occur.

Ends/Monday, June 14, 2010
Issued at HKT 23:39


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