Report: Listed Chinese companies use parts of endangered animals as ingredients

A pangolin rescued from a wildlife vendor is seen resting at Green Finger Park in Lagos, Nigeria, July 29, 2020. Photograph: Sion Sunny/Reuters. Obtaining licensing rights

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Three listed Chinese pharmaceutical companies, whose investors include or use some of the world’s largest banks, have used parts of endangered animals as ingredients in their products, an environmental group said in a report published on Monday.

The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency urged investors in Beijing Tong Ren Tang Group (600085.SS), Tianjin Pharmaceutical Group (600329.SS) and Jilin Aodong Pharmaceutical Group (000623.SZ) to sell their stakes.

Beijing Tong Ren Tang and Tianjin Pharmaceutical Group did not respond to emails or phone calls sent by Reuters seeking comment. Jilin Odong Pharmaceutical Group could not be reached for comment.

The three companies are among 72 that the non-profit EIA said use body parts of endangered cheetahs and pangolins as ingredients in at least 88 traditional Chinese medicine products.

The group said it focused on pharmaceutical companies because they are publicly listed and display products containing tiger or pangolin parts on their websites.

Traditional Chinese medicine manufacturers often publicly promote the effectiveness of these ingredients and include them on the packaging of their products.

“It is particularly disappointing to see so many major banks and financial institutions actively endorsing this destructive exploitation,” Avinash Bhasker, a legal and policy specialist at EIA, said in a media statement.

“They need to divest from TCM manufacturers that use endangered species at the earliest opportunity.”

Beijing Tong Ren Tang and Tianjin Pharmaceutical Group did not respond to several emails and calls from Reuters seeking comment. Jilin Odong Pharmaceutical Group could not be reached for comment.

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The EIA said 62 financial institutions invested in at least one of the three companies, including HSBC Holdings, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and BlackRock. n).

Some investors, including Wells Fargo & Co., said they either sold money invested in traditional Chinese medicine companies or sold their shares in the companies, the EIA said.

HSBC Global Asset Management Canada and Royal Bank of Canada told the EIA that their investments in the two companies are limited to passive or tracked funds.

UBS told the EIA that its shares are held on behalf of clients.

The EIA said Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, Citigroup and BlackRock did not respond to its inquiries.

A spokesman for DWS, Deutsche’s asset management arm, said it had no exposure to the three drugmakers through actively managed funds, noting that it was important to engage with issuers and index providers to achieve environmental, social and institutional improvements and without clarifying the bank’s ownership via passive funds. .

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Citi’s holdings largely involve client-related activities rather than private investment. City declined to comment.

BlackRock declined to comment.

The activist group urged the Chinese government to ban the use of parts of endangered animals for all commercial purposes in its domestic markets.

The China National Medical Products Administration did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

China’s revised Wildlife Protection Law took effect in May. It prohibits the trade in most wild animals for consumption as food, but breeding and use permits can still be issued in certain circumstances.

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(Reporting by Andrew Silver in Shanghai and Selena Lee in Hong Kong – Prepared by Muhammad for the Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Myung Kim and Jason Neely

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