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Results of Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (Phase VII) announced

     The Department of Health (DH) today (June 26) published reference standards on safety and quality for 36 commonly used Chinese Materia Medica (CMM) in Phase VII of the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS).

     "Throughout the past years, with the concerted efforts of our collaboration partners, the HKCMMS have become well-recognised reference standards in the field of Chinese medicine testing and certification. The findings of the HKCMMS have also contributed to promoting the use of evidence-based, safe and quality Chinese medicines," a DH spokesman said.

     "This volume marks a new step forward by presenting the first two monographs on CMM of animal origin (namely Cervi cornu pantotrichum and Bufonis venenum) and introducing the first of many applications of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fingerprint technology for authentication of CMM on Fritillariae cirrhosae bulbus," the spokesman added.

     The criteria for selection of CMM for the research include the following:

* common usage in the local community;
* international concern in respect of their safety and quality;
* high economic value in the local market; and
* priority being accorded to the CMM listed in the two schedules of the Chinese Medicine Ordinance.

     Research work was conducted by research teams from six local universities, namely the Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Hong Kong. The National Institutes for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC) of the People's Republic of China and Taiwan's China Medical University also took part in the research.

     An International Advisory Board (IAB) comprising local, Mainland and overseas experts advises on the research principles, methodologies, parameters and analytical methods. The Government Laboratory developed analytical methods for determination of heavy metals, pesticide residues and mycotoxins, and participated in inter-laboratory verification.

     The China Food and Drug Administration as well as the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of the People's Republic of China have also provided valuable advice and support for the project.

     The publication, HKCMMS Volume 7, sets out the names, sources and descriptions of the 36 herbs, as well as methods of identification (including microscopic identification, thin-layer chromatographic identification and high-performance liquid chromatographic fingerprinting), tests and assays.

     The 36 herbs are Aconiti Kusnezoffii Radix (unprocessed), Aconiti Lateralis Radix (unprocessed), Aconiti Radix (unprocessed), Agrimoniae Herba, Albiziae Flos, Bolbostemmatis Rhizoma, Bufonis Venenum, Centellae Herba, Centipedae Herba, Cervi Cornu Pantotrichum, Cirsii Japonici Herba, Citri Exocarpium Rubrum, Corydalis Decumbentis Rhizoma, Dendrobii Officinalis Caulis, Dioscoreae Nipponicae Rhizoma, Drynariae Rhizoma, Euphorbiae Semen (unprocessed), Fritillariae Cirrhosae Bulbus, Ginseng Folium, Ilicis Cornutae Folium, Ilicis Rotundae Cortex, Inulae Radix, Kansui Radix (unprocessed), Litseae Fructus, Lonicerae Japonicae Flos, Magnoliae Officinalis Flos, Mahoniae Caulis, Nelumbinis Receptaculum, Polygoni Multiflori Caulis, Polygoni Tinctorii Folium, Polyporus, Pseudolaricis Cortex, Rosae Chinensis Flos, Selaginellae Doederleinii Herba, Strychni Semen (unprocessed), and Verbenae Herba.

     The DH will issue letters to Chinese medicine trade associations, wholesalers and manufacturers of Chinese medicines and representatives of laboratories, inviting them to briefing sessions.

     The HKCMMS Volume 7 is accessible at the DH website (

     Limited copies of CDs containing HKCMMS Volume 7 can be obtained from the following locations:

* The Chinese Medicine Division of the DH on 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon;
* The HKCMMS Office of the Chinese Medicine Division on 2/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon; and
* The Secretariat of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong on 22/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

     For the details on the sale of printed copies of the publication, please call 2319 8562.

Ends/Friday, June 26, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:15


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