Iowa Public Television


Organ Grinder

posted on October 19, 2001

"They use everything but the moo..."

A Midwestern biotech company is using organs from farm animals as the raw materials for over-the-counter medicines and health supplements.

The company, "Sioux Pharm" of Sioux Center, Iowa purchases the materials from meat processing plants, and claims it can isolate important products from nearly every organ of the animals.

So far this year, the company has used more than seven million pounds of bovine trachea tissue in the production of chondroitin sulfate, a supplement used to improve joint flexibility in people suffering from osteoarthritis.

Sioux Pharm started marketing its chondroitin several years ago and posted annual sales of $100,000 dollars in 1998. This year, sales are expected to exceed 10-million dollars.

Tags: agriculture animals biotechnology drugs Iowa news organs