Q. There is a warning label on the herbs you gave me. Are they safe to take?


A. I am very concerned with the safety of the herbal products that I sell. And make sure that all of the suppliers that I use meet the most stringent Federal and international standards for safety. The warning label is to comply with the requirements of California Proposition 65 which has been in effect since 1986. Under this proposition, any product with any detectable amount of heavy metals- such as lead, mercury, or cadmium- must contain a warning label. Even if these levels are recognized as safe by federal or international standards. It is impossible for any agricultural product, including Chinese Herbs, to be grown without containing some amount of heavy metals, because heavy metals exist in all soils. In terms of safety, it is not the presence of heavy metals that is a problem but the quantity of heavy metals. The herb companies that I use all do independent testing to insure that their products meet the safety standards of the US pharmacopoeia. Most are much more stringent than even the federal standards. Follow this link to read about one of my main herb suppliers’ standards http://www.mayway.com/store/qa_chinese_medicine_control.jsp Under Prop 65, even carrots or other produce should carry a warning label. However the food lobby in California is much more powerful than the Chinese Herb lobby! So grocery stores have been able to avoid the warning label on the produce they sell. The bottom line is that the herbal products that I sell meet very stringent federal and international standards for safety.

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