When I was in China in 2005, the topic of using endangered species, particularly animals, met with seriousness. The photo here is one that I took of the signage at the herb market in Chengdu. Although some of the more jaded Americans I talked to claimed that such signs were merely for show, I also heard terrifying stories of people being imprisoned for possession of illegal exotic herbs. And from what I could gather, Chinese prison is not a place I would ever want to spend time. Eric Brand’s latest discussion on CITES Listed Herbs in Chinese Medicine leads me to believe that the Chinese government has cracked down even more, stepping up protections for plants as well as animals. Seems to me this is a step in the right direction. It’s not just about saving endangered species, it’s about preserving an endangered medicine tradition.