The Burmese military junta has banned the production and distribution of two Burmese indigenous medicines because of its lead and arsenic content.

by Mizzima News
Sunday, 05 April 2009 23:34

Rangoon (Mizzima) – The Burmese military junta has banned the production and distribution of two Burmese indigenous medicines because of its lead and arsenic content.

The medicines have been identified as Daw Htwe’s ‘Gawmotta’ and Daw Kyin’s, meant for children.

After US health officials found lead and arsenic poisoning among Burmese children, the Ministry of Health in Burma banned the production and distribution of these two medicines.

Recently both the medicine producers were given official permission for production for another three years by the Burmese Indigenous Medicine Department and Medical Research.

We submitted our samples in November 2008. They instructed us not to use two ingredients the ‘Saydan’ (Arsenious Trisulphide) and sulphur in the medicines. So we excluded these two ingredients and continued production with official permission and license which is valid for three years till 2011,” an official of the Monywa Gawmotta factory said.
Arsenic poisoning can affect the brain and the nervous system and its high content in the blood may be fatal. Lead poisoning can damage the nervous system.

Indiana State in the US has banned these two medicines because they are unfit for children after lead and arsenic poisoning was detected in Burmese children who migrated to US and are living in Fort Wayne following door-to-door visits.

An official of Daw Kyin Medicine said, “We applied for renewal of our production license at the ‘Indigenous Medicine Department’ in Naypyitaw in January. They have inspected our medicine and renewed our license for another three years. We don’t understand why they banned it now”.

The notice was issued in the April 4 issue of state run daily newspapers which said that these medicines are unfit for consumption as they are manufactured with poisonous heavy metals. There was no elaboration.

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