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Further recall of lead-tainted proprietary Chinese medicine (with photos)

     Further to the batch recall of a registered proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm) by licensed pCm manufacturer Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory on August 1, as the pCm has been found to contain excessive lead, the Department of Health (DH) today (August 12) instructed Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory to recall from consumers one batch (batch number: PD12C3) of the pCm, [Chung San Brand] Bak Foong Pills (six pills per box and 12 pills per box) (registration number: HKP-12577), also for excessive lead.

     The action was called for after the Government Laboratory's results today revealed that two (both packages of the above pCm) out of 25 samples of pCm obtained from Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory during the DH's investigation on August 1 were found to contain about 2.3 times the permitted limit of lead.

     "Preliminary investigations by the DH showed that the pCm was manufactured by Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory locally. 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 the 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 the investigation, the DH will work with the Department of Justice on prosecution matters and will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong to consider taking possible disciplinary action.

     Members of the public who have purchased the pCm should stop using it immediately. Those who have used the pCm and feel unwell should seek advice from health-care professionals. People who have the above 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/Monday, August 12, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:10


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