Listen Now: Scorpion Venom
Scorpions. Most people avoid them. One man made them his retirement plan.
Several years ago, a young Egyptian man decided to abandon his quest for a degree in archeology for a different calling. The kind that stings.
Instead of studying, he spent his time hunting scorpions in the country’s desert. He would catch them and extract their venom. Now he’s 25 years-old and the owner of the Cairo Venom Company, a company that houses 85,000 scorpions in various forms across Egypt. And just to mix things up, he has a few snakes he uses for their venom as well.
The critters are caught using a UV light and exposed to a tiny electric current stimulating the release of the venom. One gram of that venom can produce between 20 and 50,000 doses of antivenom.
And the project pays off. That one gram of scorpion venom can bring in about $10,000. The main buyers are from Europe and the US. Once there, it’s used to make antivenom and other medicines to treat conditions such as hypertension.
Talk about your job hazards.
CBS News Radio national business journalist Brian Banmiller has spent more than 40 years in the news industry, covering business, politics and the economy on television, radio and in print. Currently, his “Banmiller on Business” reports are delivered to an audience of millions nationwide.
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