China’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) has halted the publication of 104 healthcare books as many self-proclaimed experts spread their pseudoscientific methods for longevity.
“Through a variety of means, some phony doctors and experts have been writing books and misleading the public by spreading their unscientific healthcare methods for quite some time,” said GAPP head Liu Binjie.
In a notable hoax last year, Zhang Wuben, author of a popular healthcare book entitled “Eat Out the Disease You Have Eaten”, claimed mung bean can cure nearly every disease. His theory convinced so many people that the price of mung bean was driven up in Beijing.
However, Zhang’s self-proclaimed title of a senior nutritionist was later denied by the Ministry of Health. His healthcare theory is refuted by medical experts and his food therapy-oriented clinic, which demands a registration fee as high as 2,000 yuan (310 U.S. dollars), was shut down.
In October last year, the GAPP issued a circular urging various publication administrative departments to check their healthcare books and set up a certification system for publishing books in the category.
During a spot check of 50 healthcare books, the GAPP found 24 with substandard editing.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that the country’s healthcare publications are scientific and beneficial for the people,” Liu said.
According to Liu, publication administrative departments were urged to strengthen the supervision of healthcare projects regarding authors’ professional background, abilities of editing staff and related statistics.