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Standards to Be Set for TCM

The World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS), founded yesterday in Beijing, will establish and publish an international standard for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

The lack of a globally accepted international standard has long been a headache for TCM, said Li Zhenji, vice-director of the State Administration of TCM.


The top priority in the WFCMS constitution is to establish such an international standard and push forward development of TCM in other countries and regions, Li said at the organization's founding conference.


Headquartered in Beijing, the WFCMS will have legal status for setting and spreading the international standards of TCM, said Li Zhonghai, director of the Standardization Administration of China.


Currently, TCM is not legally recognized by most of the international community, partially due to the shortage of an international standard and the lack of understanding of TCM, said Li.


Other objectives of the organization are to promote understanding and cooperation for TCM among the academic sector, to strengthen international academic exchanges, and improve the level of TCM according to the constitution of the WFCMS.


The organization will also assist Chinese medicine in getting access to the mainstream medical community to make contributions to healthcare.


As the cradle of TCM and owner of the independent patent on TCM, China has the expertise and responsibility to draft the international standards, Li noted.


In early April, the State Council launched the Regulation of TCM of the People's Republic of China, which clearly stipulates that TCM clinics, practicians and educational institutes should follow certain standards.


The regulation also says the central government gives full support to the international exchange and cooperation of TCM and promotes the global spreading of TCM.


About 150 representatives from 118 TCM academic communities and organizations from 43 countries and regions are attending the conference.


A chairperson and other members of the WFCMS executive council will be elected today.


TCM has spread to many countries, including Britain, where more than 3,000 TCM clinics have opened in recent years.


During last spring's outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), more than 50 percent of the SARS patients in China received TCM treatment, said She Jing, director of the State Administration of TCM.


(China Daily September 26, 2003)



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