We are still Celebrating the 2022 Year of the Tiger!

The Annual Conference of the National Federation of Chinese TCM Organizations in 2022 was held in San Francisco, CA, USA, on Sunday, October 16, 2022.

The session was streamed online simultaneously.

Conference Co-Chairs: 

  • Yemeng Chen, Ph.D., L.Ac.

  • Lixeng Lao, Ph.D., L.Ac.

It was co-sponsored and organized by

  • New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (NYCTCM) and

  • Virginia University of Integrative Medicine (VUIM)

Report by attendee, Dr. Yvonne Walston, DOM, CMI

In their own words: The conference marked a celebration of the successful effort to remove tiger bone from TCM usage 24 years ago (Year of Tiger) and brought to light the urgent need to come together once more to protect other endangered species still in use and at risk of extinction. TCM practitioners, TCM researchers, wildlife conservation advocates and other stakeholders discussed the issues and challenges of wildlife protection, such as the use of pangolins in TCM practice, which is contributing to drastic declines in their population.

The recent request by some to open up use of tiger bones for research appears to have been terminated.

The pre-conference literature says, “In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), wildlife products have been prescribed in China for a long history and consumed by the public as medicinal ingredients. Certain wildlife species are now on the edge of extinction due to such demand. The positive image of TCM has been seriously distorted by illegal use of endangered wildlife in Chinese herbal products. A famous ancient TCM practitioner, known as “King of Chinese Medicine,” Sun Si Miao (581-682, Tang Dynasty) stated in his well-known classic “Da Yi Jing Cheng” 《大医精诚》: “Physicians sometimes treat diseases with animal products. However, both human and animals cherish their lives. To treat human using animals is against the principle of saving live. Therefore, I don’t use animal production in my prescriptions.” TCM professionals are an important intermediate actor in the wildlife consumption chain as they can directly communicate with consumers and guide consumption behaviors. We encourage all the TCM practitioners to join us to protect wildlife from use in TCM practice and publicly voice our concerns stating that we are against any illegal use of endangered wildlife in TCM.”

It was discussed that the same cartels who do drug and human trafficking are largely involved in much of the illegal poaching of endangered species. The author of this report, who has an undergraduate degree in zoology, was also horrified to realize that the poachers are including North American continent turtles, which do not exist in the eastern continents. The conference practitioners agreed that it is important to educate the public, because they called it a “habit” for some populations to use endangered species as public consumption for health supplements.

Research results were shown of substitute and manufactured products from this modern age that are excellent replacement for endangered species that have been used for health aids, and research is ongoing.

Presenters were quite passionate about each of their areas of expertise, which was invigorating and refreshing, in spite of the long day and shortened breaks. The conference culminated with a certificate and an official “Declaration: We commit to support protecting wildlife and not using any endangered wildlife (animal) products in Chinese Medicine, October 16, 2022.” 

See the program details at http://www.wildlifeprotectionintcm.com/conference/

The conference was supported by many national and international organizations, including the following:

Supporting Organizations

In the US

  • Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine (CCAHM)
  • Accreditation Commission of Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine (ACAHM)
  • National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
  • Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR)
  • National Federation of Chinese TCM Organizations (NFCTCMO)
  • American TCM Association
  • American TCM Society
  • American Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA)/strong>
  • United Alliance of New York State Licensed Acupuncturists/strong>
  • Florida Acupuncture Association/strong>
  • Five Branches University/strong>
  • Chinese Herb Trade Association of America/strong>
  • Chinese Medicine Luobing Society of America/strong>
  • California University Silicon Valley/strong>
  • Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine/strong>
  • American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine/strong>
  • American Academy of Health & Wellness/strong>
  • California Acupuncturists United Association (CAUA)/strong>
  • Young Acupuncturists Association of America (YAAA)

In the world

  • World Traditional Medicine Forum (WTMF)
  • Consortium of Globalization of Chinese Medicine (CGCM)
  • Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Association (GP-TCM-RA)
  • School of Chinese Medicine, the University of Hong Kong
  • Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA)
  • NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University

Supporting Enterprises

  • Tianjiang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
  • E-Fong Herbs
  • TCMzone, LLC
  • PuraPharm International Company

Please note: This article expresses the opinions and research of the author, and does not necessarily reflect all views or policies of the National Federation of Chinese TCM Organizations, the organizers of the Wildlife Protection in TCM Conference, NMSAAM members, the NMSAAM BOD, or the ASA.