The blood of this animal is worth almost 15,000 euros per liter.
The pharmaceutical companies owe their bulging accounts to horseshoe crab – a creature that is older than the dinosaurs and that floats in our oceans as a “living fossil”.
For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has been harvesting blood commercially from an animal with the scientific name ‘Limulus Polyphemus’ – the Atlantic horseshoe crab (also called Moluccan cancer or horseshoe cancer), for a very special reason: its “blue gold”, as they call it can bring tens of thousands of dollars per liter, Bloomberg reports.
The blue blood of the crayfish is used to detect germs in vaccines and infusions as well as on medical devices. It contains a protein molecule that works like a primitive immune system: as soon as it comes into contact with disease-causing coli bacteria or Salmonella, it clots like sour milk.
No substance in the world displays bacteria better.
The uniqueness of their blood, which was to revolutionize medicine, was discovered in the 1960s in these crab species, which are 450 million years old.
Unlike vertebrate blood, horseshoe crabs do not use hemoglobin to carry oxygen through their bodies. Instead, the blood ( called is called Limulus Amebocyte Lysate ) contains hemocyanin, a protein that transports oxygen, stains the blood blue, and has specialized immune cells that are extremely valuable.
That is what makes these animals so valuable.
And then there’s the pharmaceutical industry!!
Around 430,000 American horseshoe crab are caught and forced to donate blood on the US coast alone, reports the English Guardian. A lucrative business: The lysate made from blood is one of the most valuable liquids on earth. A liter costs up to 15,000 euros.
As soon as the blood is drawn, the horseshoe crabs are released back into the ocean. However, it is estimated that 15% to 20% of them die from the consequences of the process.
According to Bloomberg, horseshoe crab stocks have plummeted by 80% in the past four decades.
Up to a fifth of horseshoe crabs did not survive «blood donation».
In the procedure, the shell of the animals is pierced near the heart. The animals must leave 30 percent of their blood in the laboratory before being released again.
A professor at the National University of Singapore developed a synthetic solution two decades ago that would replace the blood of horseshoe crabs.
Apparently, however, the pharmaceutical industry prefers to bleed horseshoe crab until this animal too, at some point, like the dinosaurs, belongs to the animals that have become extinct.
And I mean…A million dollar business, isn’t it?
The animals have even survived the dinosaurs but they will not survive the bloodsuckers.
They are in the hands of the pharmaceutical mafia, which draws blood from them in masses.
This is mainly about the ethical problem, above all because of the way in which this procedure be practiced. In Japan, for example, they are squeezed alive in order to obtain the maximum amount of blood.
So another animal with which the pharmaceutical mafia fills their accounts with billions.
The human species is the only species that is mostly responsible for the extinction of another species.
My best regards to all, Venus