Chinese doctor jailed for calling medicinal tonic ‘poison’

A Chinese doctor has been arrested for defaming a popular Chinese medicinal tonic as ‘poison’ in his personal blog, in which he accused the producer of the tonic of false advertising with regards its health benefits.

The doctor Tan Qindong was detained in January but the news was not announced until this month, which immediately caused uproar online as the tonic has since been banned in different parts of China for, none other than, false advertising.

The Inner Mongolia-based Chinese company Hongmao filed a defamation suit against Tan alleging that the blog post by the doctor, which was only viewed around 2,000 times, was “maliciously discrediting” the brand’s reputation and causing “significant financial loss” of as much as RMB 1.4 million (US$223,000), reported China’s state news agency Xinhua, citing a police statement.

In the blog post, Tan alleged that the tonic made of 67 different Chinese herbs, mostly toxic, did not have the ability to cure heart disease and arthritis among other diseases as the brand claimed.

The Hongmao tonic, a popular drink, especially among seniors, in fact has been banned in different Chinese provinces and cities, and the inter-province arrest of Tan by police in Inner Mongolia in Guangdong province has caused uproar online in China.

According to a report by Southern Metropolis, Hongmao tonic was singled out by 25 different food and drug administrations for violating laws and has been banned from sale in 10 different provinces and cities as a result.

Most recently, just this February, the tonic was banned from advertising in neighbouring Shaanxi province for false advertising by the province’s Bureau of Press, Publication, Broadcasting and Television.

Back in 2010, advertisements containing Hongmao tonic were singled out by Hainan Food and Drug Administration for, “repeatedly using experts and patients to testify its product and exaggerating its health benefits” to deceive and mislead consumers.

Tan later in interview admitted that calling the tonic “poison” was exaggerated but it did not warrant arrest.

China has a long history of making medicinal tonic, often with exotic herbs or animal parts. It’s believed to have some effect on lessening symptoms of various ailments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Brand Manager

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire

Southern Regional Account Manager

Speciality Drinks
England, UK

Northern Regional Account Manager

Speciality Drinks
England, UK

Awards Sales Executive – France

Decanter
London, UK

Fine Wine Buyer

FINE+RARE Ltd
London, UK

Sales Executive / Brand Ambassador

Elixir Distillers
London, UK

Brand Development Executive

Elixir Distillers
London, UK

Sales Administrator

Company details: Advised on application
London W1

London Account Manager

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Sales Administrator Customer Service

Ellis Wines
Hanworth, Middx

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2019

Wine Paris

Paris,France
11th Feb 2019

IBWSS UK

London,United Kingdom
11th Mar 2019
Click to view more

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2019

Deadline : 7th January 2019

The Global Fortified Masters 2018

Deadline : 15th January 2019

Click to view more

Rioja Masters 2018

View Results

The Global Beer Competition

View Results

Click to view more