Skeptic News: Company fined £21,000 for selling remedies containing endangered plants

From: Brent and Kilburn Times

A traditional Chinese medicine company has been fined £21,000 for selling illegal herbal remedies containing endangered plants.

Beijing Tong Ren Tang (UK) Ltd, who have a warehouse in Commercial Way, Park Royal, sold products suspected of containing or claiming to contain Aucklandia costus, Dendrobium, Cibotium Barometz, Gastrodia and Cistanche Deserticola.

The company were snared after the police teamed up with the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, UK Border Agency and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, to storm their shop in the West End.

The company’s warehouse and a property they own in St John’s Wood was also raided simultaneously in February 2010.

Illegal plant remedies items contravening the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species were seized at the shop and warehouse.

The raids took place as part of Operation Tram – an Interpol-led initiative targeting wildlife crime across 18 countries and five continents. Traditional medicines seized during the global operation have included ingredients derived from tiger, bear and rhinoceros among many others.

Skeptics often talk of the harm done to those seeking treatment from alternative means but perhaps we should consider focusing more on the harm done in creating those treatments in the first place.

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