Updated on 2 August 2012
TCM has been surrounded by a number of controversies. A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health by scientists form the University of Queensland revealed that out of 247 traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) investigated, a proportion were contaminated with arsenic (five-to-15 percent), lead (approximately five percent ), and mercury (approximately 65 percent). Other issues associated with the safety and quality of TCM includes presence of toxic herbs (Aconite poisonings have occurred repeatedly in Australia), microbial organisms, and other contaminants, and deliberate combination or adulteration with pharmaceutical drugs. DNA testing of traditional Chinese medicines has shown that many contain traces of endangered animals, such as such as black bears, tigers, one-horned rhinos, and antelopes among others.
However, advancements in proteomics, genomics, molecular biology and stem cell research have enabled even more research directions for Modern TCM. Moreover, well-conducted research into the mechanism of action of TCM is expected to give it scientific credence.