Hoodia and unstainable herb harvesting

rusty_blackhaw(6a)December 26, 2006

Trafficking in Hoodia as a weight-loss aid is starting to resemble the plot of the movie Blood Diamond, what with reports of smuggling and gangster involvement in its sale. The end result may be the plant's extinction in the wild.

This story illustrates the dangers involved when an herb is promoted as a wonder drug (typically with scant evidence) and marketers rush to cash in on the craze. Those wanting to take a chance on Hoodia extract might want to think about ensuring that it comes from a sustainably-farmed operation and not wild-harvested plants.

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Interesting to see that no one seems to care, or at least not enough to forego their diets :-).

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 5:42AM
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Well, diamonds for guns has been going on for a long time and Americans never cared till they made a movie about it.. maybe a movie should be made about hoodia, lots of Americans don't seem to be aware of much till they a)see it in a movie or b)have the news tell them.
I saw a bumpersticker in a hemp store the other day... appropriate...
"A lot of trees and plants are dying to make room for your fat ass".

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 11:57PM
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To be fair, if your media source doesn't tell you about such things (as maybe the BBC does IN the UK), then unless you go out of your way to make yourself aware of them, maybe because you're involved in politics, or your professor asks you to, you're just not going to know about them. If the local news is insular in it's scope, the vast majority of people will remain ignorant. And let's face it, hoodia sustainability is not exactly top of the priority list when it comes to causes these days, nor should it be there!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 4:35AM
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That's true... when your life is filled with how to be seen at the newest hotspot or how to rack up as much debt as you can on a new beemer or giant SUV or hot new Xbox, it's pretty hard to find this out... your mind is taken up with more important stuff. But those of us who aren't cool enough for those things just happen to know through networking, or reading pertinent things, we find them out without working too hard.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 1:30PM
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Same old story - whether whales or cod fish or ginseng or hoodia - if there is an economic use, the species turns into a resource that is exploited. Saw similar concerns over the Pacific Yew trees when Bristol-Meyers was paying top dollar for bark that contained taxol. Funny how some people are conservationists through thick and thin, and others are more selective.

Me, I've got a pot filled with Hoodia grown from seed that was harvested from plants in the US. I don't plan on eating it - I've gotten close to my ideal weight through changing my diet and exercising. But nice to have as a conversation piece, might do some tissue culture propagation on it someday.

Here is a link that might be useful: New study indicates Hoodia beats fenfluramine for weight loss.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 10:32PM
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