Start News Beijing: Criticism of TCM could be punishable

Beijing: Criticism of TCM could be punishable

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The Beijing authorities are currently working on a law that could punish criticism of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in China’s capital. Individuals and organizations should be prohibited from making false or exaggerated claims about TCM, using them for „unlawful interests“ or damaging state interests, the Guardian says in the draft law.

According to the British newspaper, the law could form the basis for the criminal prosecution of people who criticize TCM or who „break the law and cause public order“ by breaking the law.

TCM as a billion dollar business

The Chinese government has been trying to promote the use of TCM at home and abroad for some time. According to the „Guardian“, President Xi Jinping is also an advocate, not least because of economic interests: According to estimates, China’s TCM industry will generate the equivalent of almost 375 billion euros this year.

During the coronavirus crisis in March, Chinese state media stressed the „crucial role“ of TCM in the treatment and prevention of Covid-19. This met with criticism in scientific circles: experts warned in the science magazine „Nature“ that China is promoting „coronavirus treatments“ based on traditional medicines, the effectiveness of which has not been proven.

Controversial remedies

There is always controversy surrounding TCM. Some preparations are made from the parts of endangered animal species, which fuels poaching and wildlife smuggling in many parts of the world.

TCM may also have played a role in the spread of the novel corona virus. SARS-CoV-2 could have jumped from bats to pangolin and only then to humans. The pangolin scales are used in the TCM.