Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nat Geo Report: Sharks killed for swine flu vaccine

Sharks are being killed to obtain a substance called squalene for preparation of swine flu vaccine, according to a report by National Geographic.

The report said vaccines being made to protect people from swine flu are killing sharks because millions of doses of the pandemic H1N1/09 vaccine contain a substance called squalene, which is extracted from shark livers.

Olive oil, wheat germ oil and rice brain oil also contains natural squalene, but in smaller amount. This has drawn drug-makers' attention towards killing of sharks, especially the deepwater species, that contain huge amount of the substance.

According to the report, commercial fishers are being hired to obtain shark livers.

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