An environmental investigation has revealed that three publicly traded Chinese pharmaceutical companies have been using endangered animals as ingredients in their products.
Chinese firms Beijing Tong Ren Tang group, Tianjin Pharmaceutical Group, and Jilin Aodong Pharmaceutical Group have listed parts of endangered animals as ingredients in their traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products, according to Reuters. The use of body parts from endangered leopards and pangolins has been discovered as ingredients in a total of 88 TCM products, as revealed by the report from Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) UK Sunday.
This report from the EIA has called on global investors of these firms, some of which include major banks like UBS and HSBC, to divest from their stakes. The environmental group focused on these pharmaceutical companies due to their public listing and the visibility of leopard and pangolin parts in their products. TCM is known for incorporating various animal parts, with manufacturers often promoting their efficacy. (RELATED: US Blacklists Chinese Firms For Role In Abuse Of Muslim Minorities)
‘Investing in Extinction – How the global financial sector profits from traditional medicine firms using threatened species’
— Environmental Investigation Agency (@EIA_News) October 22, 2023
“It’s particularly disappointing to see so many major banks and financial institutions effectively endorsing this damaging exploitation,” legal and policy specialist for the NGO Avinash Basker said in a media release. “They need to divest from TCM manufacturers using threatened species at the soonest opportunity.”
It was revealed that 62 financial institutions have invested in at least one of the three Chinese pharmaceutical companies using endangered animals in their products, according to the report. Major global banks and investment firms, including UBS, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, Citigroup, and BlackRock, were among those who invested in these Chinese firms.
“We strongly urge the Government of China to fulfil 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 added.
Basker was referring to 52 recommendations made by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. These recommendations concern species under consideration for changes in international trade regulations