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

     The Department of Health (DH) today (August 1) instructed the registration holder of the proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm) Bak Foong Pills (registration number: HKP-11297), Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory, to recall from consumers one of its batches (batch number: PD12P2), as it has been found to contain excessive lead.

     The action was called for after a sample of the above pCm obtained in the DH's routine market surveillance was found to contain about 1.8 times the permitted limit of lead by the Government Laboratory.

     "Preliminary investigations by the DH showed that the pCm was manufactured by Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory in Hong Kong. The manufacturer has set up a hotline (2524 6188) to answer public enquiries. The DH will closely monitor the recall," a DH spokesman said.

     According to its label, the product is used for relieving menstrual discomfort. The spokesman explained that in adults, prolonged exposure to excessive lead could cause anaemia and damage to human organs including joints, the brain and kidneys. So far, no adverse reports related to use of the pCm have been received by the DH.

     The DH's investigation is ongoing.

     "According to Section 52 of 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. Upon completion of investigations, the DH will work with the Department of Justice for prosecution matters. The DH will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for possible disciplinary action," the spokesman remarked.

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

Ends/Thursday, August 1, 2013
Issued at HKT 20:11


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