The EcoWaste Coalition, a watchdog group promoting chemical safety and public health, urged consumers of Chinese medicines to pay attention to an advisory issued by US health authorities against a lead-containing anti-flu product.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, September 26, warned parents and caregivers against purchasing or providing “Bo Ying Compound” to infants and children due to potential lead poisoning.
“Bo Ying Compound,” manufactured by Eu Yan Sang (Hong Kong) Ltd., is sold locally in Binondo, Manila as confirmed by the EcoWaste Coalition during a test buy conducted yesterday, September 29. The product is sold for P580 per can which contains six small bottles of the powdered Chinese medicine.
The product is not on the list of duly registered drugs as per website of the Philippine FDA.
“We urge consumers providing Bo Ying to babies and kids to follow the US FDA health warning and to report any adverse reactions to the Philippine FDA that may be related to the consumption of Bo Ying,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“Childhood lead poisoning can be fully prevented with the involvement and support from all sectors,” he added.
As per the product information, Bo Ying can “dispel wind and clear away heat, eliminate phlegm and tranquilize the mind,” and is recommended to relieve babies’ cough, fever, indigestion, influenza, nasal discharge, poor appetite, restlessness and crying at night.
The US FDA took action against Bo Ying after the product was tested and found to contain high levels of lead by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The US FDA had received one adverse event report of lead poisoning involving an 18-month-old child who was given the Bo Ying product.
According to the US FDA, “exposure to lead can cause serious damage to the central nervous system, the kidneys, and the immune system. In children, chronic exposure to lead, even at low levels, is associated with impaired cognitive function, including reduced IQ, behavioral difficulties, and other problems.”
The EcoWaste Coalition has already alerted the Philippine FDA about its discovery that the Bo Ying product is available locally.