China, stop killing endangered species for traditional medicine!

  • by: Lynn Hamilton
  • recipient: People's Republic of China President Hu Jintao

Put down that Chinese herbal tea! Not only is it likely to contain some dangerous toxins, it's also likely to contain the DNA of an endangered Asiatic bear or Saiga antelope. 

That's right, folks. Endangered species are being killed and used as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines, according to articles in the New York Times and New Zealand Herald. Australian border officials seized a quantity of traditional teas, powders, and capsules that were manufactured in China and sent them to a nearby university to be analyzed. They found not only toxic plant ingredients, but also the DNA of animals known to be perilously close to extinction.

This matters because traditional Chinese therapies are currently a multi-million dollar industry, and the products are distributed around the world. Tell China to clean up its act and protect endangered species!

We the undersigned are outraged that you have allowed endangered species to be killed and processed for the manufacture of traditional medicines. These medicines are distributed globally and are the basis of an industry that pulls in tens of millions of dollars annually. You need to send a strong message to this industry and demand that it comply with medical standards and international laws that protect endangered animals. Don't allow the last Asiatic bear to be killed for a bogus cough remedy!

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