Bear Bile: Brutal and Barbaric, Or Warm and Fuzzy?

Click on the arrow below to listen to this podcast, or click here.
[podcast]http://66.147.244.109/~myfamio6/myhealthbeijing/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/022207_CUT.mp3[/podcast]

Traditional Chinese Medicine has quite a few unusual ingredients, but I must confess that the recent press about bear farms in China which repeatedly stick needles into their penned-up bears’ gallbladders is very disturbing. I agree with the veterinarians’ stance that there’s no way this procedure is as “painless and humane” as the TCM chairman said last week, and that the practice should be banned. One good thing about this bear farm company trying to go IPO is the justifiably negative pushback and revulsion on the Weibo-sphere. What do you think? This is the top topic of my weekly podcast with Paul James on the Beijing Hour radio show. (click above to listen)

Paul and I also discuss the growing craze among young Chinese to wear custom contacts of all sizes, colors and shapes. The problem is that most of these are poorly designed and don’t allow much oxygen to pass through to the eyeball, thus choking off the cornea’s blood supply and dramatically increasing the risk of infections. Many of these infections can cause permanent blindness, so this not a small issue that parents can simply laugh off when they see their daughter wearing them. This issue finally got well-needed attention when the Chinese government on January 19th declared these to be a  “medical apparatus”. This is supposed to mean that these can now only be sold next to regular contacts in professional eye stores, and would require an eye exam.

More Podcast Information

You can listen to all my previous podcasts at the podcast archive. You can always listen live to my radio interview each Wednesday around 7:35am Beijing time, on the Beijing Hour program on EZFM 91.5, which is broadcast from 7-8am every weekday by host Paul James. EZFM is the popular bilingual radio station on the China Radio International network, broadcasting here in Beijing and on multiple stations all over the world, as well as live online.


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Photography: richardsaintcyr.com

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