A chilling environmental investigation surrounding three Chinese firms has revealed they have been using endangered animals as ingredients in their medical products.
Chinse pharmaceutical companies Beijing Tong Ren Tang Group, Tianjin Pharmaceutical Group and Jilin Aodong Pharmaceutical Group recently listed parts of endangered animals as ingredients in their traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products, as reported by Reuters.
These three companies listed body parts from endangered leopards and pangolins as ingredients in 88 of their medical products, according to a report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) U.K.
EIA’s report spells trouble for the three Chinese firms. The investigation agency has called on global investors for these firms to divest from their stakes. EIA’s focus on the three pharmaceutical companies comes after they listed leopards and pangolins in their TCM products.
'Investing in Extinction – How the global financial sector profits from traditional medicine firms using threatened species'
— Environmental Investigation Agency (@EIA_News) October 22, 2023
“The use of highly threatened animals such as leopards, pangolins, rhino and tigers in traditional medicine products disregards CITES recommendations made by the international community to protect these species,” a legal and policy specialist for EIA, Avinash Basker, said in a statement.
“This is use on an effectively industrial scale which can only push these species ever closer to extinction,” Basker added.
“It’s particularly disappointing to see so many major banks and financial institutions effectively endorsing this damaging exploitation,” she continued “They need to divest from TCM manufacturers using threatened species at the soonest opportunity.”
Among those who have invested in the Chinese firms are 62 banks and financial institutions such as Black Rock Inc., BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank and the Royal Bank of Canada.
Basker’s comments were a reference to 52 recommendations made by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora, per the Daily Caller.
EIA reported that leopards and pangolins are near extinction and are among the most trafficked animals worldwide. They are currently listed on CITES Appendix I, which prohibits international commercial trade of them and their parts.
“We strongly urge the Government of China to fulfill CITES recommendations and prohibit the use of the body parts of leopards, pangolins, tigers and rhinos from all sources for all commercial purposes in its domestic markets,” Basker concluded.