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Recall of two chromium-tainted proprietary Chinese medicines (with photos)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (May 25) instructed two licensed proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm) wholesalers, Fu Yuen Trading Company and Kian Hin Leong Medicine Company Limited, to recall from shelves two pCms, G.L. Savior (registration number: HKP-06152) and [Hong Fu] Ganmaoging Capsules (registration number: HKP-07080) respectively.   

     "The recall comes because both pCm wholesalers have declared that the capsules of the pCms were manufactured by Mainland manufacturers, Xinchang Chengxin Capsule Company Limited (for G.L. Savior) and Zhejiang Kangnuo Capsule Company Limited (for Ganmaoging Capsules) respectively, whose capsules have been announced to have excessive chromium levels by the State Food and Drug Administration. Both wholesalers could not provide the DH with valid laboratory test reports to prove that the chromium levels of their pCms were within the recommended limit. The DH conducted investigation immediately after risk assessment and obtained samples of the pCms from both wholesalers for laboratory testing. The declaration is one of the DH's control measures to ensure the quality of pCms since incidents of chromium-tainted capsules were reported in the Mainland," a DH spokesman explained.

     "Today, results from the Government Laboratory revealed that the gelatin capsule of a sample of G.L. Savior contained chromium at a level of 44 parts per million (ppm), while the gelatin capsule of another sample of [Hong Fu] Ganmaoging Capsules contained chromium at a level of about 10ppm. Both exceeded the recommended limit of 2ppm, as stated in the Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China. Test results for other samples are still pending," the spokesman added.

     "While investigation is ongoing, the DH has liaised with the Mainland authority for follow-up," the spokesman said.

     "For both aforementioned cases, if one consumes the pCms according to their respective dosage instructions, the level of chromium detected is considered unlikely to cause acute harmful effects by taking reference to the recommendation made by the World Health Organization," he stressed.

     Members of the public can call Fu Yuen's hotline at 2788 1082 and Kian Hin Leong's hotline at 2548 9551 for related enquiries. The DH will closely monitor the recall.

     The spokesman reiterated that since incidents of chromium-tainted capsules were reported in the Mainland, the DH has written to all traders of pCms urging them to examine their products to ascertain the source of their capsules, and submit laboratory test reports for chromium should empty capsules be supplied by the Mainland. The DH also tests samples of pCm capsules through the surveillance scheme.

     "The DH will continue investigation and closely monitor the situation of chromium-tainted capsule incidents in the Mainland," he said.

     "Here, contravention of Section 52(1) of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance Cap. 132, selling any drug not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser, might also have occurred. The maximum penalty involved here is $10,000 and three months' imprisonment. On completion of the investigation, we will work with the Department of Justice regarding possible prosecution," the spokesman said.

     The spokesman urged members of the public who have purchased the pCms to stop using them immediately and surrender the products to the DH at 16/F, Two Landmark East, Kwun Tong, Kowloon. For those who have used the pCms and feel unwell, they should seek advice from their health-care providers as soon as possible. So far, the DH has not received any adverse reports related to the products.

Ends/Friday, May 25, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:28


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