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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Plea to WHO: Don’t approve traditional Chinese medicine

Wildlife scientists around the globe have warned about TCM’s alleged ties to the decline of wild animals, especially threatened big cats.

mumbai Updated: May 21, 2019 04:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Wildlife scientists around the globe have warned about TCM’s alleged ties to the decline of wild animals, especially threatened big cats.
Wildlife scientists around the globe have warned about TCM’s alleged ties to the decline of wild animals, especially threatened big cats.(HTPhotos)
         

Wildlife conservation groups from the city have written to the World Health Organisation (WHO), requesting it to not legitimise the use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). WHO plans to formally recognise TCM for the first time at the World Health Assembly to be held later this week in Geneva. If recognised, TCM will be adopted by 194 WHO member states in 2022.

Wildlife scientists around the globe have warned about TCM’s alleged ties to the decline of wild animals, especially threatened big cats. City-based Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) and environmental investigation agency, Panthera, are among those who have written to the WHO.

“While choosing to endorse TCM, the WHO seems to have ignored compelling data that links illegal wildlife trade to high mortality rates,” said Anish Andheria, president, WCT. “It is imperative that WHO aids efforts to improve the planet’s natural health instead of endorsing practices that might put pressure on conservation of India’s big cats.”

“WHO’s decision could contribute to the end of many species on the brink of extinction, like the tiger,” said Dr John Goodrich, chief scientist, Panthera.

WHO had told Reuters in March that inclusion of TCM in its global medical compendium does not mean it condones the use of animal parts or endorses the scientific validity of the practice.

First Published: May 21, 2019 04:37 IST

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