The importance of safety issues in Traditional Chinese Medicine marketing

A. K.M. Leung*, David W F Fong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The Chinese Medicine Ordinance has been launched for more than 10 years in Hong Kong. One of major aims of this ordinance is to control the use and sale of Chinese Materia Medica (CMM) and proprietary Chinese Medicine (pCM) products in local markets. However, different types of safety issues were reported continuously over the past 10 years. These issues include the use of confused species of CMM, adulteration of western drugs and the associated analogues in pCM products, false trade description, fake products and microbial contamination. Although the Government put a lot of effort to improve the situation, the Chinese medicine industry and traders do not consider the problem very seriously. The existing situation in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) market of Hong Kong will be discussed. In order to improve the quality control of CMMs and pCM products in the local market, a local standard namely Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS) has been established since 2002 by the Government. Up until now, standards for 96 selected CMMs have been completed and around 100 new standards will be established by end-2012. The progress and impact of these standards on the local TCM market will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS)
  • Safety


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