A giant swath of Americans who don't accept real medicine will somehow accept Asian folk medical claims. When Asians aren't eating shark fins, they are using them as unsubstantiated remedies, and either or both are what was the likely outcome for shark fins from Africa destined for Asia that were confiscated in Miami.

The George W. Bush additions to the Lacey Act prohibits illegal wildlife trade plus species protected from exploitation by CITES, The Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. So Asians, and Americans who buy supplements, still prize this stuff, because it is a status symbol to serve it, along with rhino horns and elephant tusks and whatever other creatures they believe can have mystical effects, but it should be illegal. Except only shark finning - literally cutting the fins from sharks and then throwing them back in the water to die - is illegal in the U.S. Owning this stuff is not

If you eat this garbage, you should be in jail. Credit: bionicgrrrl

I have written about this before and have joined with conservation groups to ask Congress to make possession and trading of shark fins illegal in America. When the Bush administration broadened the Lacey Act to create a chain of custody for wood, it caused the market in illegal forestry to plummet and while Asians are still going to want to eat this stuff, at least America can be more ethical when it's banned outright.