'Yahom' maker clarifies 'ban'

'Yahom' maker clarifies 'ban'

A bottle of Five Pagodas 'yahom' and its label are shown. (Facebook/กองคุ้มครองฯ กระทรวงการต่างประเทศ)
A bottle of Five Pagodas 'yahom' and its label are shown. (Facebook/กองคุ้มครองฯ กระทรวงการต่างประเทศ)

The maker of Five Pagodas herbal powder has maintained the Netherlands does not ban its import but only requires a certificate before bringing it into the country.

Thai media reported Five Pagodas Pharmacy Co Ltd issued a statement after the Thai Foreign Ministry on Monday warned Thai travellers against bringing the traditional medicine into the European country.

The Thai authorities said the medicine contained an endangered plant species but did not say what it was, prompting speculation it was agarwood.

But the company on Friday said the substance in question was Saussurea lappa Clarke, which is on the list of endangered species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

The company said the formula was approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration and the claim that it was banned was misleading.

“In the past, the plants grew naturally. With its superb medicinal properties, so many of them were cut and unrooted, prompting Cites to include it in the endangered list. Cites, however, does not prohibit using it in medicines,” the company said in the statement, signed by managing director Surasee Hengsakul.

After checking with Dutch officials, the company found the Netherlands does not prohibit imports of the powder. Importers need to bring a Cites certificate with them.

“Those who could not bring the powder with them into the country did not have the required documents,” it said.

It is also working to find measures to make it easier for Thai travellers to bring the medicine into foreign countries.    

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