'Health' books under scrutiny for quack food prescriptions

09:14, June 08, 2010      

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The General Administration of Press and Publication will scrutinize books that offer health advice to ensure that the information they offer are accurate.

The Legal Mirror reported Monday that the administration would forbid publishers to release health books until medical experts verify the contents.

The administration will also check the content of the books and take them off the shelves if the information they contain is false or inaccurate.

The administration will cooperate with relevant medical authorities to determine criteria for examining the health advice.

The accuracy of some "health" books and the credibility of their authors were questioned after famous health food author Zhang Wuben was found to have faked his qualifications. In his book, Cure the Diseases You Get from Eating by Eating, Zhang had recommended eating mung beans to cure a variety of diseases, a remedy that researchers said has not been scientifically proven.

Dozens of people in Sichuan Province got sick recently after eating uncooked muddy loaches, a subtropical fish that sucks up algae from lakes and rivers, following the advice given in the book, The Wisdom of Not Being Sick, written by Ma Yueling.

Guo Xiazhen, a professor of Chinese Medicine at Peking University, told the Xinhua News Agency that many people use traditional Chinese medicine incorrectly.

She said a woman was hospitalized after eating too much raw aubergine, one of Zhang's other recommendations.

"People should turn to doctors for cure, and not believe what the media, particularly the Internet, tell them, even if some of the information is correct," she said.

Still, many people prefer self-treatment methods by concocting their own prescriptions, found by browsing the Internet and reading "health" books.

Ji Xiaopei, a graduate student, mixes soymilk with sesame seeds, soybeans, red beans and a variety of nuts every day.

She learned the "therapy" from TV and the Internet, and she has never consulted a physician.

"I worry about my health since I am losing weight, but I learned from the Internet that food therapy can help me stay fit," she said.

Source: Global Times/ Agencies

(Editor:王寒露)

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