Traditional Chinese Med chief fails to realize what century this is

In an astounding piece whereby my jaw hit the floor… I’m giving Mr. Wang an “Epic fail” designation

Top TCM chief defends bear bile medicine.

China’s top traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) chief defended medicines made from bear bile citing a lack of an effective substitute.

Wang Guoqiang, vice-minister of health and director of the State Administration of TCM, made remarks on the sidelines of the annual session of the 11th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, which opened Saturday.

“So far we have found no substitute for bear bile, which has proven medical efficacy and is irreplaceable,” he stressed.

According to Wang, precious TCM medicines made from animals such as the tiger bone, musk, rhinoceros horn, and antelope horn have also been used for thousands of years in China.

Tip @endless_psych on Twitter

M. Silverberg/TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Associated Press

The illogic of that just flood my brain… First, we’ve managed just fine in the west without bear bile. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? It has “proven medical efficacy”? I dispute that. “Is irreplaceable?”, you might REALLY want to check on that. The “used for thousands of years” is an argument from antiquity – a logical fallacy. Just because something is old doesn’t mean it works. It’s perfectly clear that Chinese people use western medical treatments whenever they can and that ancient “cures” are magical thinking, remnants of a past age that has been supplanted by scientific knowledge.

This is modern society. And, our modern society isn’t too keen on allowing horrific animal cruelty to continue. With the amount of press given to this issue from the media, and thanks to celebrities such as Ricky Gervais, I am hopeful that bear bile will be a memory soon. Mr. Wang needs to be awakened into the 21st century.