Dear Business Owner/Practitioners,
You may have been aware of the negative news released by ABC for the study, and subsequently, some media reprinted with some important elements missing, causing a misunderstanding about manufactured TCM.
The article recently released from nature.com heading “Combined DNA, toxicological and heavy metal analyses provides an auditing toolkit to improve pharmacovigilance of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)” (Link as follows).
It might cause some panic among TCM communities, and also remind us of the impact of the Green Peace report a few years ago. However, we would not agree with the finding from the study due to the following reasons.
1. Several mistakes found in the final published paper, and some figures differ from the ABC news report. Meaning that the media and the public have all been misled. We feel regret that such a well-known journal can tolerate such mistakes in their paper. Therefore this study can be regarded as low quality and unconvincing;
2. Neither from Chinese pharmacopeia or nor from classic TCM formulations or practice, cat or dog species could be possibly used in TCM products, detection of such a DNA is questionable;
3. Of 26 samples, 17 are unlisted (not 14 as the news reported) or unregistered products.
4. A study based on the wrong products will definitely lead to a wrong conclusion. These unlisted products cannot represent the TCM product or TCM industry.
5. The claim of non-compliance over 50 %, and 90% not suitable for human consumption is a misleading interpretation, as over 65% of the products are non-listed.
6. To apply the standard of heavy metals for pharmaceutical products to herbal medicines is not a scientific approach.
At Winner Trading, we are sourcing more of our certified herbs that are compliance-tested both in house according to Chinese Pharmacopoeia, and tested by the leading independent laboratory Eurofins Germany, with its world-wide leading analytical and testing laboratory services. This way we can assure our practitioners and the public that our herbs are free from pesticides and heavy metals, and within the most stringent existing standards for herb importation into Europe. European standards are higher than the current Australian standards.
We have been working with Andy Ellis, Spring Wind founder in US, to source the best quality herbs we can get. We want all our prescribing physicians to feel confident in using our products in response to the health concerns of their patients. We want the public to know they are being prescribed the best quality and safest products. Winner Trading will work together with practitioners to continue to advance the quality of our products and promote the benefits of traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
Please also find Sunherbal managing director – Tony Reid ‘s statement about Sun Herbal products.
“To all Sun Herbal products distributors, practitioners, end users,
The main problem with the paper is in their calculations regarding safe levels of toxic heavy metals (THM):
‘ .the TGA limit for medicines (based on 60 kg person; 1.2 µg/daily dose arsenic, 2.2 µg/daily dose lead, 0.22 µg/daily dose cadmium).’
It is important to note that the levels for Chinese herbal medicines that the TGA accepts are as follows:
Lead <5 ppm
Mercury < 0.5 ppm
Arsenic <3 ppm
Cadmium <0.3 ppm
ppm = ug per g
For 36 pills per day at 180 mg per pill = 6.5 g of pills per day
If you do the maths, even 3+ score on the published table of THM contaminants could still be within acceptable limits.
It seems that the authors of the report have applied TGA standards for pharmaceutical drugs to the assessment of toxic THM's in herbal preparations.
In addition, salicylates are naturally occurring throughout the plant kingdom and as the authors note, many herbal formulas contain salicylates. In regard to Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, and Methylephedrine, these are all components of the herb Ephedra Sinica (ma huang) and will be detected in herbal preparations that contain this herb. These are regulated by the TGA and must be present in quantities less than 10 ppm.
Sun Herbal formulas in the Black Pearl, ChinaMed and Red Peony ranges are all tested before each new batch is released for supply and are only released if they comply with the above standards for THM's. We also test for bacteria, yeasts and molds, pesticides and aflatoxin, and released products must be within the specified safe limits.
Sun Herbal formulas only contain the ingredients listed on the label and do not use any animals or animal parts in the formulas. The following tables may be of interest regarding the relative safety of herbal medicines compared to pharmaceutical drugs, compiled by the Alliance for Natural Health International.
Please go to the following websites for more information:
‘Practitioners can be assured that when you prescribe Sun Herbal formulas, they are produced to the most rigorous standards’”
At the beginning of 2016, we will release a series of marketing materials such as a poster, window stickers, and brochure to clinics who are using certified herbs, to make patients and public awareness that they are applying the highest standard of patient care.
Say No to Pesticides and Heavy Metal!
This is what we tell practitioners, the public and our mother nature – Yes, We care!