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40 tons of diseased turtle bones flow into TCM market  

40吨病死甲鱼骨流入中药材市场 监管部门称没辙

近期浙江海宁和平湖等地查知,40吨病死甲鱼骨通过一条“产业链”流入中药材市场。 [查看全文]
2013-12-17 16:00 Ecns.cn Web Editor: Yao Lan

(ECNS) -- Forty tons of bones from diseased dead turtles have flowed into traditional medicine markets in China, according to Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday.

Police departments in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, launched a crackdown on infected dead turtles being sold in markets. Sixteen suspects were captured and eight tons of bones from diseased turtles were seized.

The suspects said they have been in the business for more than six years. Over 40 tons of bones from infected dead turtles have been introduced to TCM markets in various regions across the country, including Anhui, Jiangxi, and Hainan provinces.

Government departments that should be accountable responded that although the bones may be harmful, there is 'no way' of stopping them.

Regulations in China prohibit the use of poisoned or disease-ridden animals to make traditional Chinese medicine.

"Bones from diseased or dead turtles may have poorer medical effect than those from healthy ones," said He Houhong, an expert at a provincial research institute in Zhejiang, who added that bones from diseased turtles may contain various disease-causing bacteria.

"Turtles are prone to disease if they are kept in hothouses," said a turtle farmer in a village in Haining, Zhejiang province. "We normally just get infected dead turtles out of ponds and throw them into ditches."

"There are also turtle farmers who sell the infected dead turtles," the farmer said.

Selling bones from infected dead turtles has already become a hidden practice in the industry.

"Since the amount of bones from dead turtles on the market is huge, it has been easier for buyers to collect them. Introducing bones from dead turtles into the markets costs less for both buyers and sellers," He said.

Shen Zhigang, director of a local fishery, said, "There are regulations concerning the treatment of infected dead turtles in Zhejiang province, but since the management over the industry is poor, these regulations have not been strictly implemented."

Experts advise policy makers to give farmers subsidies so they will be motivated to stop diseased turtle bones from flowing into the market.

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