Friday, 29 November 2013

Cockroaches bred by pharmaceutical companies for hepatitis drugs

Wang Fuming spends 8 hours every day with cockroaches — millions of them. He even dines on them, fried, in the belief they can cure his stomach disease.
Although the insect incites feelings of disgust and dread for many people, the 43-year-old businessman in Shandong province has pinned high hopes on them.
Inside two concrete buildings near an elevated highway running through Jinan's Changqing district, Wang keeps as many as 10 million cockroaches in sheets of cartons that resemble battery cages on a hen farm.
Wang supplies cockroaches to pharmaceutical companies, who use them as medicinal ingredients. Scientists say certain parts of a cockroach can enhance a person's cardiovascular functions as well as combat hepatitis B.
The price of dried cockroaches, on average, reaches 150 yuan ($25) per kilogram and farms are steadily spreading in Shandong, Jiangxi, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.
The largest farm, which occupies more than 2 hectares and has an annual production of more than 1 billion American cockroaches, is owned by a pharmaceutical company in Xichang, Sichuan province.
Source: China Daily

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