Chinese Medicinal Foods
~ December 1997 No.28 ~
It is easy to assume that the whole world is awakening to the potential of foods and components in foods as weapons against disease and infection. However, it is clear that in many parts of the world specific foods and beverages have been used for centuries in this role. These remedies pre-date "modern medicine" and in countries like China traditional herbal medicines are very big business. As in so many other countries, the government of China has been busy putting together standards and protocols that companies have to use to get foods approved for sale.
Late in 1996 the Chinese Ministry of Health issued Regulations for the Administration of Health Food, and now companies have to abide by these rules if they wish to bring their products to market. It is worth noting that three of the first products to get through the regulatory process have to deal with weight loss. A slimming extract, a weight loss tea and a candy eaten to promote weight loss are now being sold in China. From information included in the descriptions of these three products, animal and human test data was supplied by the companies before approval was granted.
Dai Y, Luo X., Functional food in China
Nutr Rev. 1996 Nov;54(11 Pt 2):S21-3.