MOH responds to Goh Meng Seng who accused S'pore govt of lying about TCM study

MOH said it can proceed to take action if Goh Meng Seng keeps up with his 'baseless accusation'.

Belmont Lay | November 22, 2021, 03:26 AM

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Singapore's Ministry of Health has called out People’s Power Party opposition politician Goh Meng Seng for providing incorrect information.

MOH responded to Goh on social media on Nov. 21.

What did Goh Meng Seng say?: He claimed that the government is lying about having studied Lianhua Qingwen for mild Covid-19 infections.

What is Lianhua Qingwen?: It is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) drug in capsule form typically used to treat flu symptoms.

What was Goh's claim that MOH took issue with?: Goh claimed the Lianhua Qingwen study was undertaken here and asked why its findings had not been published.

He also accused the government of lying, MOH said.

When did Goh make his allegations?: Goh put up a Facebook post on Nov. 18 accompanied by an hour-long video.

His allegations included the claim that it is “totally untrue” that there are no scientific studies on the suitability of Lianhua Qingwen in treating Covid-19.

He continued by saying that MOH had sponsored a study and asked why the findings were not out.

What MOH said in response?: MOH clarified that it had indeed offered to sponsor a study under a TCM research grant, but the researcher involved withdrew her application.

MOH said the researcher, who is the principal investigator, cited the reason as being unable to secure a suitable study site.

MOH added that to date, a few randomised control clinical trials on Lianhua Qingwen have been conducted only in China.

"Mr Goh Meng Seng’s post is incorrect," MOH said.

"Mr Goh Meng Seng has accused the Government of lying; this is a serious, baseless accusation. We reserve the right to take further action if Mr Goh Meng Seng persists with this unjustified claim."

What is Singapore's stance on Lianhua Qingwen?

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) warned that Lianhua Qingwen is not approved to be used to treat Covid-19 symptoms.

Claims circulating on social media and in Telegram chat groups about the product being able to protect against Covid-19 are false and not allowed.

HSA added: "To date, there is no scientific evidence from randomised clinical trials to show that any herbal product, including Lianhua Qingwen products, can be used to prevent or treat Covid-19."

All herbal products formulated for common cold and flu should only be used to manage symptoms such as headache, runny or blocked nose, sore throat and cough, the authority said.

Top photo by Belmont Lay

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