An environmental organization revealed that three Chinese pharmaceutical companies, with investments from major banks like UBS and HSBC, have incorporated endangered animal parts into their products.
On Monday, the Environmental Investigation Agency, based in London, advised investors worldwide to sell their shares in three companies: Beijing Tong Ren Tang group, Tianjin Pharmaceutical group, and Jilin Aodong Pharmaceutical Group.
The three companies are among a list of 72 firms the environmental non-profit organization (NGO) said used body parts of threatened leopards and pangolins as ingredients in at least 88 traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products.
The organization targeted pharmaceutical companies due to their public listings and use of leopard or pangolin products on their websites.
Reworded: TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) products are notorious for incorporating a diverse range of animal parts into their ingredients. Manufacturers frequently promote the effectiveness of these ingredients and display them on their product packaging.
Avinash Basker, a legal and policy expert for the NGO, expressed disappointment in a media statement about the numerous major banks and financial institutions that are essentially supporting this harmful exploitation.
As soon as possible, they should stop investing in TCM manufacturers who use endangered species.
Reuters reached out to Beijing Tong Ren Tang and Tianjin Pharmaceutical Group via email and phone, but did not receive a response. Jilin Aodong Pharmaceutical Group was also unable to be contacted for comment.
According to the NGO, 62 financial institutions, such as UBS, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, Citigroup, and BlackRock, have invested in at least one of the three firms. The exact amount of investment has not been disclosed.
According to the agency, certain investors, such as Wells Fargo & Co, have reported that they have either divested their funds from the TCM firms or have sold their stocks in those companies.
Both HSBC Global Asset Management Canada and Royal Bank of Canada informed the agency that their investments in the companies were restricted to passive or tracker funds. Additionally, UBS disclosed to the agency that its shareholdings were managed on behalf of clients.
The environmental organization stated that Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, Citigroup and BlackRock did not reply to their inquiries.
Deutsche Bank and BlackRock declined to provide a response when questioned by Reuters.
The organization called on the Chinese government to ban the sale of products made from endangered animals in their local markets.
The National Medical Products Administration of China did not reply to a comment request from Reuters.
The revised Wildlife Protection law in China, implemented in May, prohibits the trade of most wild animals for food consumption. However, exceptions may be made for breeding and usage under specific circumstances.