Astra-Zeneca has come under fire after it came under fire for using extracts of astragus, the root of the Astra.
The company’s statement said the extracts are derived from the plant.
“As the extracts from the roots are in no way harmful to the immune system in general, they are not tested for safety, efficacy, or safety profile,” it said.
The statement said that the extracts “may not impair the ability of the individual or any of their family members to perform certain health activities”.
But in a statement, the firm said that it had done “an extensive analysis” and “concluded that the Astramax extracts do not cause any harm”.
“These extracts were tested on humans to determine if they can inhibit human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication,” it added.
In December, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said Astra had “no evidence” that AstraZeneca’s products were unsafe.
“There is no evidence that the extract poses any risk to health or safety,” the commission said in a submission to the Federal Court.
“The company’s products contain AstraXpress®, which is an astringent extract and is not tested on human cells.”
The company said that in light of this “we have decided not to market the Astralis products”.
However, Astra has been accused of misleading consumers, and has been called out for its lack of scientific studies on its products.
“AstraZeneca is selling the Astragalus extracts as Astra’s anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal products,” the Australian Pharmaceutical Association said.
“But they have no scientific evidence to support the claims they are anti-infective.”
A spokesperson for the Australian Food and Drug Administration said it would “take appropriate action” against Astra if the firm did not change its products by mid-June.
“If Astra is not compliant with its obligation to disclose information on safety and efficacy of their products, then the Federal Government could intervene to take regulatory action to enforce its obligations under the Commonwealth Pharmacopoeia,” the spokesperson said.
In June, a spokeswoman for the Food and Drugs Administration said that “there is no scientific basis for Astra to claim that Astralus is safe or effective”.
In a statement to the ABC, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that Asta had “not complied with its duty of disclosure” and that it was “seeking a court order”.