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Suspected contamination of Chinese herbal medicine

     The Department of Health (DH) today (July 23) advised people who have been prescribed Chinese herb Rhizoma Atractylodis (a) by Tung Wah Hospital Clinical Centre for Teaching and Research in Chinese Medicine not to consume the herb as it was suspected to be contaminated.

     DH has been informed by Hospital Authority about its incidental finding of impurities with aconitum alkaloids in a sample of Rhizoma Atractylodis collected by hospital routine monitoring system. The test was conducted by the Hospital Authority Toxicology Reference Laboratory.
DH has launched investigation and source tracing. More samples of Rhizoma Atractylodis from the hospital's stock have been obtained for confirmatory testing.

     Rhizoma Atractylodis is a commonly used herb which in itself is not toxic.

     No report has been received about patients feeling unwell after taking the herb prescribed by the hospital.  A spokesman for DH said that HA will contact the potentially affected patients.

Ends/Friday, July 23, 2010
Issued at HKT 21:22


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