owever, the WHO said that the inclusion of TCM in its global medical compendium did not mean that it condoned the use of animal parts.
Mumbai: The World Health Organ-isation (WHO) is set to formally recognise traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for the first time. However, Mumbai-based wildlife conservationists have raised concerns a-bout the repercussions for wild animals if this industry grows. They st-ated that many tigers, pangolins and bears are packed for their organs which are used in these medicines.
NGO Wildlife Conserv-ation Trust and Panthe-ra, a global wild cat org-anisation, highlighted that the tiger, pangolin, bear, rhino and other species are poached for their organs that are used in TCM to treat ailments from arthritis to epilepsy to erectile dysfunction. They stated that there was no scientific basis to support TCM’s claims regarding the efficacy of a vast majority of these remedies and, in any event, there could be no justification to eradicate entire species when other existing and well-proven met-hods could clearly treat these challenges.
Wildlife Conservation Trust president, Dr Anish Andheria, stated, “The WHO seems to have ignored the compelling data that links illegal wildlife trade to the mortality rates of frontline forest staff and the exploitation of forest-dwelling communities. With human health being its primary mandate, it is imperative that the WHO aids efforts to improve healthcare for these vital stakeholders of the planet’s natural health, instead of endorsing practices that further endanger their wellbeing in addition to the insurmountable pressure it puts on the conservation of India’s big cats.”
However, the WHO said that the inclusion of TCM in its global medical compendium did not mean that it condoned the use of animal parts. or endorsed the scientific validity of the practice. The WHO said that it recommended the enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).