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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Health Update

Air Date: Week of February 2, 2001

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Transcript

TOOMEY: A U.S. maker of herbal allergy relief medicine is voluntarily recalling the product because it contains trace amounts of a substance known to cause kidney damage. The product, marketed under the brand name Neo Concept Aller Relief, is made from an Asian herb that naturally contains aristolochic acid, a known carcinogen and kidney toxin. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration began to test Chinese herbal products for aristolochic acid, following reports from Europe that linked more than 100 cases of kidney disease to ingestion of herbal formulas. The FDA also issued a warning to health care professionals, alerting them about other botanical products that might contain the toxin. The company that makes Aller Relief says it's reformulating its product with an herb that does not contain aristolochic acid. And that's this week's health update. I'm Diane Toomey.

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