Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office

Recall of Chinese herbal medicine exceeding limit of sulphur dioxide residue

  The Department of Health (DH) today (November 14) endorsed a licensed Chinese herbal medicine (Chm) wholesaler, Hang Lung Trading Co (Hang Lung) to voluntarily recall from the market a batch of Chm, Cortex Phellodendri (batch number: 150), as the sulphur dioxide residue of the Chm exceeded the limit set out by the Chinese Medicines Board of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong (CMCHK).

  During the DH's market surveillance, sample of the above Chm was collected for analysis. Testing result of the sample from the Government Laboratory revealed that each kilogram of Cortex Phellodendri contained 2000 milligrams of sulphur dioxide residue, which was about 13 times the maximum limit set out by CMCHK.

  Based on the level of sulphur dioxide residues detected in the samples, adverse health effects will not be caused under the usual dosage for treatment of diseases. So far, no adverse reports related to the use of the above Chm have been received. Members of the public may visit the following website of the Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office (CMRO) of the DH for more information on the adverse health effects of sulphur dioxide and handling of herbal medicines before decoction: only)

  According to the Chinese Medicine Ordinance (Cap. 549), Cortex Phellodendri is the bark of Phellodendron chinense Schneid or Phellodendron amurense Rupr. It is a Schedule 2 Chm of the Ordinance used to clear heat, dry dampness, purge fire, relieve steaming and remove toxin to treat sore.

  Preliminary information indicated that the above batch of Chm was imported from the Mainland. Hang Lung has set up a hotline (2549 3099) for related enquiries. The DH will closely monitor the recall.

  The DH urged members of the public who have purchased the above Chm to stop using them immediately and may submit them to the CMRO of the DH on 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, during office hours for disposal. People who have taken the above Chm and feel unwell should seek advice from healthcare professionals.

Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office
14 November 2022