We know, if we have been paying attention, that our planet has a wealth of natural resources that can be beneficial in many ways. What is less well-known is the extent to which this is the case. For example, the rainforest gives us 25% of the pharmaceutical products sold in the West. This sounds like a lot. It is a lot. But what is less well-known is that this 25% of our pharmaceutical products has come from rainforest resources that have barely been tested up until now. In actual fact, only 1% of the trees and plants in the Amazon have been tested by scientists.
When you consider that there is so much we don’t yet know about the plants that grow in the rainforest, the fact that companies are cutting it down becomes all the more insane. Although it seems like an apocalyptic suggestion, the truth is that there could be cures for a wide range of potentially fatal illnesses simply being thrown away by short-term thinking. 121 different prescription drugs sold in the world come from plant sources. How many more might we already have let go?
For the fight against cancer, more than 3000 plants have been proven to act against this often fatal illness. Of those plants, 70% are present in the rainforest, and twenty-five percent come from organisms that can only be found in the rainforest. When you look at that fact, it is not only irresponsible to cut down the rainforests, it is desperately destructive in a way which can never be excused.