Friday, December 31, 2010

National herb council to tap vast potential 2010/08/07 / By Ili Liyana Mokhtar

KUALA LUMPUR: A national herb council will be set up to enhance the growth of the herbal and biotechnology industry. Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said local herbs could make Malaysia a centre for herbal product development and supplier of raw materials for industrial use.
"We have more than 6,000 types of herbs with potential to be developed into traditional remedies for sale.
"The council will be tasked with conducting research on these herbs besides ensuring that herbal products available in the market are of the highest standards," he said after launching bio-jantung, a herbal drink developed by Lincoln College chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Badaruddin Nordin.
Noh said members of the council would consist of experts in various fields, including science, medicine and biology.
"We are still in the early stages of setting up the council, but I hope that it will be up and running soon."
Noh added that Malaysia had the potential and resources to be among leading global players in the herbal industry, but it was necessary to ensure that medicinal products developed from herbs conformed to physical and chemical standards.
"The herbal industry should adopt an integrated approach which includes the application of modern scientific methods in the selection, cultivation and manufacture of proven herbal medicines. Only through such an approach can we transform the traditional trade into modern industrial practices."
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