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Sweden finds arsenic in Chinese herbal remedy

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Sweden finds arsenic in Chinese herbal remedy
07:48 CEST+02:00
A daily dose of a medicinal product claiming to cure toothache and fever in infants, on sale in Sweden, has been found to contain extremely high levels of arsenic by Sweden's National Food Agency.

The Chinese herbal remedy in question posed a "very serious health hazard" according to the country's food safety watchdog.

The toxic substance was found in a product called Niu-Huang Chieh-tu-pien,

which is claimed by online vendors of traditional Chinese medicine to cure

numerous conditions, including toothache, skin infections, anorexia and fever

in infants.

The product is also sold under the Indian names Divya Kaishore Guggul and

Chandraprabha Vati.

"The recommended dose provides a daily amount of inorganic arsenic which in

a worst case scenario equals half a lethal dose," said Leif Busk, a

toxicologist at Sweden's National Food Agency (Livmedelsverket).

"Consequently, anyone who takes it can be very seriously affected. It's

frightening to think there are companies selling these very hazardous

preparations."

The product was discovered and removed from shelves in Stockholm this

summer, but could still be on sale in other Swedish cities. It can also be

bought on the Internet.

Local authorities in Stockholm have issued a warning to other European

countries through an EU alert system, according to the agency.

The Local/AFP/cd

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