Recall of heavy metal-tainted and drug-tainted proprietary Chinese
medicines (March 05, 2012)
The Department of Health
(DH) today (March 5)urged the public not to buy or use two
proprietary Chinese medicines (pCms) because they were found,
during market surveillance, tainted by heavy metal and undeclared
western medicine respectively.
The first one is [Chung Lien Kulin Brand]
Anshen Bunao Pian (registration number: HKP-00253), which has been
found by the Government Laboratory to contain excessive level of
mercury that is about 55 times the permitted level of mercury. It
was manufactured in the Mainland and imported by a licenced pCm
wholesaler, Fung Wah (HK) Company (operated by Honour Essence
Trading Limited). This pCm is used for treating restlessness and
insomnia symptoms in adult.
Another one is [Chung Lien] Bi Yan Pian
(registration number: HKP-08747), which was found by the Government
Laboratory to contain trace amount of paracetamol. It was imported
by Kin Kwok Trading Co and produced also by the same manufacturer
in the Mainland. This pCm is indicated for treating rhinitis
"Acute mercury poisoning can cause
inflammation of mouth, while prolonged exposure can damage the
neurological system and kidney. Paracetamol is a pharmaceutical
product that has long been used for its anti-pyretic and analgesic
effect. So far, no adverse event related to consumption of these
two pCms has been reported to DH," a DH spokesman said.
"Both pCms are directly imported by the two
wholesalers from the Mainland and no secondary packaging was found
during field investigations. Therefore any contamination would
unlikely to have occurred in their premises. The two pCms will be
recalled immediately from consumers by the wholesalers. Moreover,
the drug authority in the Mainland has also been notified," the
Fung Wah (HK) Company and Kin Kwok Trading
Co have set up recall hotlines at 3622 1799 and 2379 6886
While DH will be monitoring the recall,
"Here, contravention of Section 54 of the
Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance Cap. 132, selling a
drug intended for use by man but unfit for that purpose, might have
occurred. The maximum penalty involved is $50,000 and six months'
imprisonment. We will work with the Department of Justice regarding
possible prosecution on completion of our investigation," the
"Members of the public who have used the
product and are either unsure or feeling unwell should seek advice
from their health-care professionals. They should stop using the
above products immediately if they have them in their possession.
They ought to submit them to the Chinese Medicine Division of the
DH at 16/F, Two Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong,
during office hours," the spokesman further advised.
(Reprinted from HKSAR Government web