Regulation urged for herbal pills
A Chinese herbal "doctor" has admitted selling dangerous pills which destroyed the health of a civil servant amid calls to regulate the trade. Ying "Susan" Wu sold the tiny brown "Xie Gan Wan" tablets to Patricia Booth for more than five years from a shop in Chelmsford, Essex. Mrs Booth, 58, began taking the pills three times a day to treat a skin condition but they ended up destroying her kidneys and giving her cancer, it is claimed. In a statement, the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) said: "The tragic case at the Old Bailey concerning a patient who allegedly suffered cancer and kidney failure after taking pills from a Chinese herbal shop highlights the urgent need for the statutory regulation of herbal medicine in the UK. The suppliers were not members of the RCHM, which upholds the highest standards of herbal practice and has a robust quality control system in place." A spokeswoman for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said a Department of Health review was taking place about the regulation of alternative practitioners.