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Recall of lead-tainted proprietary Chinese medicine (with photo)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (December 31) ordered a licensed wholesaler of proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm), Fung Wah (Hong Kong) Company (Fung Wah) (operated by Honour Essence Trading Limited), to recall from shelves a batch (batch number: 1010110) of a pCm called Canelim Capsule (registration number: HKP-00511) (the product), as it has been found to contain excessive lead.

     The action was called for after a sample of the product obtained in the DH's routine market surveillance was found to contain about three times the permitted limit of lead by the Government Laboratory.

     "Preliminary investigation found that the product was manufactured in the Mainland. Fung Wah imported and released the product to the local market for sale," a DH spokesperson said.

     The spokesperson explained that the product was indicated mainly for promoting blood circulation and alleviating pain in adults. Prolonged exposure to excessive lead could cause anaemia and damage to organs including joints, the brain and kidneys.

     "While the investigation is ongoing, so far no adverse events related to the consumption of the product have been reported to the DH. The DH has notified the Mainland drug authority to follow-up," the spokesperson added.

     Members of the public can call Fung Wah's hotline on 2553 2170 for enquiries. The DH will closely monitor the recall.

     "According to the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), selling any drug not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser is liable to a maximum penalty of $10,000 and three months' imprisonment. On completion of the investigation, the DH will work with the Department of Justice for prosecution matters. The DH will also refer the case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for taking possible disciplinary action," the spokesperson remarked.

     The spokesperson urged members of the public to stop using the product immediately. Those who have used the product and feel unwell should seek advice from their health-care professionals. People who have the products should submit it to the Chinese Medicine Division of the DH on 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, during office hours.

Ends/Monday, December 31, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:57


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