Toxic herb plea to China
BILLY WONG WAI-YUK and ANTHONY WOO
A call has been made for closer co-operation with the mainland to ensure Chinese herbs sold in Hong Kong are not contaminated.
The move follows the hospitalisation of six people this month who became ill after apparently drinking a tonic which had been contaminated with a toxic herb.
Yesterday, one of those affected, Tang Tai-nui, 68, said she had taken wai ling sin to relieve pain in her arm.
Speaking from her bed at Tuen Mun hospital, Ms Tang said she had bought the medicine from a Shamshuipo herbalist on Pei Ho Street.
She has been in hospital for the past six days and is now in a fair condition.
Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine member Tam Ling-kwan said: 'The cases in recent days showed some unscrupulous traders had mixed some contaminated herbs with the normal ones before they were imported to the territory.' The committee is working with the Department of Health to control the supplies and use of herbs. There is no legislation to control herbs available in the local market.
Chan Luk-mui, 37, and Lam Yu-tai, 39, were also in a fair condition at the same hospital.