Authority apologies over donkey-hide gelatin debate
A department within China's leading health agency has apologized for putting out a post online suggesting a gelatin used in traditional Chinese medicine, known as donkey-hide gelatin, or "ejiao" in Chinese, is not worth buying, reports the Securities Daily.
Donkey-hide gelatin, or "ejiao" in Chinese. [File Photo: IC]
On February 18, 2018, the Sina Weibo account "12320 Health Hotline," a hotline health service center under China's National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), published an article saying "ejiao" is nothing but "donkey hide boiled in water," with its main component, collagen protein, not even constituting "a beneficial source of protein."
Screenshot shows a post of 12320 Health Hotline, which claims "ejiao" is not worth buying since it is nothing but "donkey hide boiled in water." The post, published on February 18, 2018, was later deleted. [Screenshot: weibo.com]
Purveyors of Traditional Chinese medicine believe that "ejiao" has various health benefits including rejuvenating the skin, relieving fatigue, treating bleeding and even some types of cancers.
The post, which was later deleted from the 12320 Health Hotline Weibo page, has sparked a heated debate over the function of "ejiao," and soon extended to doubts about the authenticity of TCM.
In a statement, the hotline center has apologized for having forwarded the "boiled donkey skin" article, claiming it was created by others.
Screenshot shows the latest apology posted on Sina Weibo by 12320 Health Hotline over the "boiled donkey skin" debate. [Screenshot: weibo.com]
Traditional Chinese medicine has been the source of various controversies over the past few years.
Responding to the recent debate, China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CATCM) contends there is no doubt about the effect of "ejiao," which has been supported by "both TCM theories and modern pharmacological studies."
"The post has no evidence to back it up. It is irresponsible and misleading to both public and consumers," said Fang Shuting, president of the CATCM.
The association is calling for the public to be more rational in reading its online information and avoid following others blindly.