Houston Community News >> China Bans Feudal Names For Health Foods

6/14/2007 BEIJING - Chinese health foods will no longer be allowed to make exaggerated claims about their effects or have names that are too long, too confusing or "feudal", according to new government rules.

The use of foreign languages and the romanised form of Chinese called "pinyin" are banned and health foods cannot be named after human organs, the State Food and Drug Administration said.

"You cannot use words tainted with vulgarity, feudalism or superstition," the watchdog said in rules posted on its Web site (www.sda.gov.cn).

"You cannot use technical language or dialect words which are hard for consumers to understand," it added.

"Names must reflect the actual properties of the product, be concise, easy to understand and in line with Chinese language customs," the watchdog said. "You cannot use false, exaggerated or absolute language, such as 'the most effective, fastest acting, latest generation'," it added.

Health foods and tonics are popular in China, often claiming to contain special medical herbs which can help with everything from baldness and impotence to lack of concentration.

The quality and safety of China's food and drug products have come under scrutiny around the world since reportedly tainted pet food caused the death of cats and dogs in the United States.

Public fears grew in China in 2004 when at least 13 babies died of malnutrition in Anhui after being fed fake milk powder with no nutritional value.