Conservation of medicinal plants is a world-wide problem. Like the tigers, elephants, whales and other creatures who possess “magical” properties subject to human valuation, these plants can be hunted to extinction upon a fad or a health scare. MORE.
America and China are linked together, our problems cannot be separated. Pollution disperses throughout the atmosphere, plastic bags accumulate in ocean pools. Cultivation of Chinese herbs in the West is by no means a blanket guarantee of either authenticity or purity. MORE.
Is genetic engineering eco-friendly? If a pesticide is engineered into a crop, some farmers may be able to reduce the volume of chemicals applied to their fields, at least for the first couple of years. Or, a herbicide-resistant crop may make no-till farming easier. These thin, myopic rationales are the basis for the deluge of greenwash sloshing around the globe these days. MORE.
What is the responsibility of the Oriental Medicine profession in species conservation, and in increasing the use of ecologically viable agricultural practices? The TCM Conservation Project addressed these issues in the early years of this decade. Results included an international conference held at the Central Park Zoo in New York City in 2002, and a book written specifically for Oriental Medicine students published in 2006. Mending the Web of Life: Chinese Medicine and Species Conservation, by Elizabeth Call L.Ac. and others, can be purchased for $21.95 at Redwing or MTW. The chapter on ecological agriculture is posted here, with permission: The Role of Cultivation in Conserving Medicinal Plants.