The price of life

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

CALCULATED in monetary terms, the benefits of plants used against cancer is estimated to be $1,100 billion. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development puts the value of a human life at $12.4 million and plant-based cancer drugs save 90,000 lives a year in rich countries. A US Environmental Protection Agency economist has forecast that the cumulative retail value of plant-based drugs will be $500 billion by 2000. A biologist points out that every two years, a plant with medicinal potential will go extinct, which will entail a retail market loss of $12 billion by 2050.

Sadly, most of these plants are found in the tropics, where the poorer sections of the world's population are concentrated.

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