Herbal products clampdown

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Japan

Japanese authorities visit retailers and health centres looking for
illegal Chinese remedies after four deaths and 400 illnesses linked
to the products.

Authorities in Japan have visited more than 900 retailers across the country as part of an ongoing investigation into the sale of illegal herbal medicines. The probe was begun after a number of deaths and illnesses linked to the unauthorised Chinese medicines called Onshidogenpi-kono and Sennomoto-kono.

However, a survey carried out by the Yomiuri Shimbun​ newspaper showed that these inspections were not comprehensive, with just 13 prefectures and Tokyo taking part. The capital was the focus of most of the inspections after a 60-year-old woman died there from a liver disorder caused by one of the herbal products.

The paper said that the Tokyo authorities had inspected about 730 health food stores and other shops between 12 and 19 July, although neither of the products were found.

Some 147 shops were visited in Iwate Prefecture, where a person died after consuming Sennomoto-kono. Dealers known to have sold slimming products not approved by the ministry were also subject to inspections, the paper said.

Inspections are also underway in the Nagano, Yamaguchi and Tokushima prefectures, but others have taken a different approach. For example, Ibaraki, where a woman was diagnosed with a thyroid problem related to Onshidogenpi-kono, is providing health counsellors in 12 health centres in the prefecture.

Related topics: Regulation & Policy, Suppliers, Botanicals

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