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Company says ginseng batch contaminated

May 21, 1998
Web posted at: 2:15 p.m. EDT (1815 GMT)
ginseng root
The ginseng root  

ATLANTA (CNN) -- If you use the herb ginseng, beware: There is concern that some ginseng products may be contaminated with the fungicide quintozene, also known as PCNB.

Quintozene is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Special Health Hazard Substance List." It can damage liver and kidneys, interfere with the blood's ability to carry oxygen and cause eye damage or cancer.

PharmaPrint, a testing company in California, alerted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after it found quintozene in a raw sample of ginseng that had been provided for testing by Hauser Chemical Research Inc., a major supplier of raw herbs.

Officials still don't know if shipments of raw ginseng to other manufacturers were tainted or if the tainted ginseng made its way into products that are now on shelves for consumers to buy.

"That's a concern," said Elliot Friedman of PharmaPrint. "We think there's a reasonably high likelihood that it's out there in stores right now."

A California company found the fungicide quintozene in a shipment of raw ginseng  

Hauser, based in Boulder, Colorado, told CNN it has stopped all ginseng processing and shipments of ginseng products until further testing can be done.

"I can tell you PCNB is not acceptable in ginseng or any other herbal product in the marketplace at any level," Friedman said.

Most products containing quintozene are banned in the United States. The substance is an organochlorine fungicide used at planting to treat seeds and soil.

Ginseng is the second most popular herb sold in the United States. Consumers use it to treat common ailments ranging from depression and fatigue to the common cold and other respiratory problems.

PharmaPrint suggests consumers contact their health care providers for guidance.

Correspondent Rhonda Rowland contributed to this report.




Dear Members & Friends: 

We are proud to announce that WTOBO and GHC (The Ginseng & Herb Coop) are teaming up to promote USA Wisconsin Ginseng. GHC  is comprising of over 30 Wisconsin Ginseng Farmers, to exclusively market Wisconsin Ginseng directly to the consumer. Wisconsin Ginseng has one of the highest RB1 Ginsenocide content of all Ginsengs. We guarantee our product is pure Wisconsin ginseng, grown in Wisconsin and not Canadian, China White, Korean or Eleutherococcus Senticosus (Siberian Ginseng). 

As you may know, all ginseng sold in the U.S. must meet strict requirements, according to EPA. Our group, Ginseng & Herb Coop, a Wisconsin Growers Coop, guarantees that all our products sold have been tested to meet these EPA standards, for PCNB, DDT, Lead and Arsenic pesticide residues. 

The GHC has bulk whole root, fiber and prong, and powder for sale. The table below shows the products available by quantities sold.

The following table shows the products and quantities that are currently available.

3 Pound Samples
100-125 lb Barrels
70-100 lb Barrels
Bulk Whole Root

For placing an order or for more information, please call us at (714) 898-8505 or contact us through email Info@WTOBO.COM  Quantities are limited, as only 40,000 - 50,000 pounds of Wisconsin Ginseng remain available, as most of the 2003 harvest crop has already been sold into the open market.

The Ginseng & Herb Coop is a member of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin SEAL Program.

We look forward to your business.


Randy Ross, President Ginseng & Herb Coop
Kenneth  Conklin, Business Development 
                     Committee Chairman, WTOBO  

Inquiries contact : Info@WTOBO.COM ;