10 new international standards for Traditional Chinese Medicine

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About 10 new international standards for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that are focused on safety and quality control will be released next year and they will in turn help with the global development of the medical style, according to officials.

"These new standards will help ensure that consumers get access to reliable and safe sources of TCM herbs no matter where they are," said Sang Zhen, the secretary-general of ISO/TC 249 Traditional Chinese Medicine (International Organization Technical Committee).

With TCM becoming more widely used across the globe, the Chinese government, which has always been a keen promoter of the medical style, has been looking to address the lack of international regulations pertaining to the industry. The ISO/TC 249 Traditional Chinese Medicine was established in 2009, with Shanghai University of TCM assuming the role of secretariat in this governing body, for this purpose.

Established in 1956, Shanghai University of TCM is one of the first four TCM colleges across China and has over the years actively promoted the international development of TCM.

The university has so far released seven international standards regarding aspects of TCM such as the use of disposable acupuncture needles and Asian ginseng seeds, the detection methods of heavy metals in TCM, decoction equipment and encoding systems.

"The international development of TCM is one of China's national strategies, and the international standardization of TCM is the foundation upon which to implement this strategy. The Shanghai University of TCM works as a practice platform to service the strategy," said Xu Jianguang, president of the university.

The university is also working with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases, marking the first time that TCM is included in the WHO's encoding system, a sign that the medical style is able to exert influence in international medical management.

In 2014, the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) Committee for Standardization was set up in the university. This entity is responsible for the development and formulation of international standards of WFCMS.

Last year, the university integrated its various resources to establish the TCM International Standardization Institute, an important platform that facilitates the research, development and formulation of TCM standards. The institute has since been combining domestic measures with international ones and has already released nearly 40 standards.


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