China’s drug watchdog has acted to regulate the 17 markets of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) ingredients and banned the opening of new markets, Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday. The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), along with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and five other central government bodies, jointly issued a set of rules seeking to step up supervision over the growing, processing and marketing of medicinal herbs. According to the CFDA, improper use of pesticides and fertilizers has caused harmful substances to remain in TCM ingredients, while dyeing and counterfeiting problems have seriously affected TCM quality and harmed public health. Under the new rules, planting in inappropriate areas and the use of certain pesticides, antibiotics and fertilizers, especially animal hormones, plant growth regulators and herbicides, are prohibited. Fumigating herbs with sulfur is banned while the amount of sulfur dioxide residue in TCM should meet national standards, the report said.
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