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Beijing proposes law to ban criticism of traditional Chinese medicine

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2285 (Published 09 June 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m2285

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  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A law proposed by the Beijing municipality could criminalise statements critical of traditional Chinese medicine, at a time when China’s government is claiming, without clear evidence, that many traditional medicines are effective against covid-19.

The draft law, which is open for public comment until 28 June, would ban making exaggerated claims for traditional medicines’ efficacy but also outlaws “denigrating or defaming traditional Chinese medicine.” That could place critics of traditional Chinese medicine at odds with a government that officially promotes its use and recommends six traditional recipes for the prevention or treatment of covid-19.

The six medicines, each a mixture of several herbs, …

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