Korean Oriental Medicine as Big Business

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Oriental Herbal Medicine Market Gets Korean Government Boost

The South Korean Health and Welfare Ministry has announced plans to promote the oriental medicine industry.

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Plans call for boosting research and development, encouraging stronger quality control systems, and globalizing the practice of ancient oriental and herbal medicine.

While ingredients will be tracked from production to distribution to prevent the use of herbs with unacceptable levels of toxins and insecticide, the Korea Food and Drug Administration simultaneously intends to ease regulations (yes, ease!) on acceptable levels of deadly heavy metals like arsenic and cadmium allowed in the herbal remedies.

The government's goal is to expand the Korean traditional oriental herbal medicine market to ten trillion won (US $8.9 billion) by 2015.

APSG Comment: Along with cosmetic surgery, traditional oriental herbal medicine is a popular attraction for tourists visiting South Korea. Now the government wants to globalize its availability and enhance its appeal, just like it's done with plastic surgery. Never mind that these concoctions don't really work other than as fuzzy, nostalgic placebos or as nice gifts to bring home to relatives after an overseas vacation. With the extra arsenic and cadmium on board, though, maybe they'll take on a new psychedelic quality or at least glow in the dark.

But hey, with the FDA in bed with Big Pharma in the United States, who are we to criticize? After all, as the Korean government has learned well with cosmetic surgery, there's some real money at stake here.

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Korean Oriental Herbal Medicine