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Chinese doctor detained for traditional medicine 'poison' remarks

AFP  |  Beijing 

A Chinese who called a popular brand of traditional "poison" has been detained without charge by police for three months, in a case that has angered the country's medical community.

said in a December article that the popular "Hongmao Medicinal Liquor" was toxic, prompting a complaint from the Inner Mongolia-based drug maker, reported.

Hongmao is popular among the elderly but Tan questioned the evidence behind claims made by the manufacturer that the product could cure illnesses including and

Tan was detained by police from northern Inner Mongolia at his home in the southern city of -- more than 2,300 kilometres away -- on January 10.

He has languished in detention for three months, even though police have not pressed charges, which has roiled China's medical community.

"Government organisations must respond to different academic opinions with caution, and avoid criminalising civil disputes," the Chinese Medical Association said in a statement Monday.

Traditional Chinese (TCM) is an enormous industry in China, with a total value in excess of $130 billion in 2016, according to the official agency

The case is the latest in a series of skirmishes between proponents of TCM, which lacks medical trials to prove the efficacy of some substances, and doctors advocating for evidence-based, peer-reviewed

Responding to public uproar over the case, the on Monday ordered Hongmao to "adhere to national drug advertising rules".

China's drug regulator approved the alcohol to be sold as an over-the-counter traditional Chinese in 2003.

But since 2010, the medicinal wine has been temporarily pulled from shelves in three provinces, due to "exaggerated advertising claims," data from the drug regulator showed In February, the company's advertisements were banned in province as part of a crackdown on and

could not be reached for comment. Activists say growing demand for various TCM remedies such as rhino horn and pangolin scales -- which have no proven medical properties -- have decimated vulnerable animal species and filled the coffers of global wildlife trafficking syndicates.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 17:15 IST