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Viagra alternative contained seahorse extract

Lu Yao was fined when a London officer's suspicions were aroused by her fishy Viagra alternative containing endangered seahorse extract.
By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Sept. 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM
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LONDON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A Mongolian woman peddling traditional Chinese remedies in London was fined for selling a Viagra alternative made in part from endangered seahorses.

Detective Constable Sarah Bailey of the London police's Wildlife Crime Unit said Lu Yao, 46, was arrested when Detective Constable Louise Morris' suspicions were aroused by the products being sold at the Mongolian national's stall at the Elephant and Castle Shopping Center.

The ingredients were translated from Chinese by investigators and they discovered the natural Viagra alternative contained extracts from a seahorse species protected under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species, or CITES.

Yao pleaded guilty to CITES violations Tuesday in Bromley Magistrates' Court and was fined a total $1,941.

"Most traditional Chinese medicines are generally legal, but Yao's contained extracts of a protected species. The illegal trade in endangered species threatens the existence of some of our most iconic and well-loved animals and plants," Bailey said.

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