Theft of Gallstones at an Australian Abattoir
MONDAY’S news that one of Australia’s largest abattoirs has been charged with theft after employees reportedly stole gallstones from the carcass has aroused considerable interest. But a few questions remain.
Natural gallstones are in high demand as a precious Chinese herbal medicine. But domestic supply is scarce. Consequently, synthetic/artificially cultured gallstones have emerged as a solution to this shortage.
When a person is suffering from gallstones, there are a few natural treatments that can help. These include acupuncture, a gallbladder cleanse, and a variety of herbal remedies. However, there are also medications and surgery that can be used to treat gallstones.
Gallstones are small solid particles that form when bile cholesterol and bilirubin are not properly broken down. When this occurs, a person can develop a condition called cholelithiasis. Symptoms of cholelithiasis include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may occur more often in women than in men.
People with a family history of cholelithiasis should be tested for this condition. It is also a good idea to have your doctor test for other health conditions that can cause gallstones, including high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity.
Other factors that contribute to gallstone formation are a person’s age and ethnicity. Older people have a higher risk of developing gallstones, cholecystitis, and common bile duct stones. In addition, a person’s diet may play a role in gallstone formation, particularly with fatty foods and a lack of fiber in the diet.
Another dietary factor is weight. Obesity can increase the risk of gallstone formation, especially in women. Those who are overweight should eat a healthy, balanced diet.
A patient can also try consuming a daily dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to break down the cholesterol that is responsible for the formation of gallstones. It also acts as a natural antioxidant.
It is also important to drink lots of water and to avoid excessive intake of fats. This is because fats can increase the amount of bile that a person has.
Taking a cup of lemon juice a day can also help reduce the chances of developing gallstones. It is recommended to drink this juice before meals and between meals. It is also best to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C.
Acupuncture is one of the most popular natural treatment methods for gallstones. It has been shown to help relieve symptoms such as back pain, abdominal discomfort, and nausea. It is also effective at reducing inflammation in the intestines and in the gallbladder.
Artificial/Synthetic/Artificially Cultured Gallstones
There has been a lot of chatter on social media since Monday’s story about charges being laid against an employee at a southeast Queensland abattoir over the theft of gallstones. The response from many has been that processors must be making a fortune out of these objects, at beef producers’ expense.
Firstly, the amount of gallstones produced by the Australian cattle industry each year is extremely small. It amounts to just 200kg, one of Australia’s major dealers in the commodity says. The only other country that produces more gallstones than Australia is Brazil, which manages to produce just 1500kg per year.
Ox gallstones (Shen Huang) have long been valued as precious Chinese herbal medicines. They were prescribed in the ancient literature as a remedy for fever, infantile convulsions, polydipsia and diarrhea.
They also were used as a remedy for hepatobiliary diseases associated with jaundice in humans, such as cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy. They were also prescribed to treat pyogenic tonsillitis and bronchitis.
The most valuable of the gallstones were Sheng Huang, which were derived from oxen raised in central China. They were characterized by having a pinhead-sized shape and being shaped like small peas. They were the most expensive of all gallstones, weighing in at around HK$19,000 for one tael or US$65 per gram.
Sheng Huang are primarily composed of calcium bilirubinate. They are a common ingredient in more than 154 traditional Chinese herbal preparations and are widely prescribed for treating a variety of diseases, including hepatobiliary and nephrotic syndromes, jaundice, hepatic cirrhosis and hepatitis B infection.
In China, artificial/synthetic/artificially cultured gallstones are commonly used as an alternative to natural ox gallstones in the treatment of various diseases and have become a popular ingredient in a variety of proprietary Chinese medicines. However, their medicinal value does not match those of the naturally formed gallstones and are not considered a substitute for them.
As with all animal biles, ox gallstones have been found to contain bacteria in their core. While bacterial DNA has been demonstrated in scanning electron microscopy and molecular genetic techniques, these methods have no conclusive proof that the bacteria are alive and capable of multiplying to cause an infection.
Hong Kong Importers
The Hong Kong market is a burgeoning one for U.S beef processing plants who have the foresight to see their products in the right light. With a population of over 6 million people and an economy that is well on the upswing, it is no wonder that the region is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for a wide variety of goods from exotic gastronomic delights to tame techies and all points in between.
The best place to start is with a comprehensive list of reputable suppliers who can deliver your goods on time, within budget and on the quality level your customers require. To assist you with your search, we have compiled a shortlist of the most trusted gallstone providers in the area. The list is divided into categories such as large scale, small and medium. You can easily find the most suitable supplier for your needs by requesting a free quote today.
MONDAY’S report about the theft of gallstones at an Australian abattoir has prompted considerable interest among beef producers and meatworkers. They’ve questioned whether processors are making a fortune out of the material, at the expense of farmers and butchers who’d rather keep their cattle in good health.
What many people don’t realise is that cattle gallstones are an extremely rare commodity. It takes hundreds of oxen to produce just one gallstone. This makes the gallstone trade an unsustainable one for beef producers.
However, as more and more people are becoming aware of this niche market, prices are set to rise. And that’s good news for the meatworkers in the supply chain.
It was only 15 years ago that a 19-year-old called Gerard Murtagh took the bull by the horns and turned a small family business into an industry juggernaut: buying gallstones from all over Australia and raking in millions of dollars. His company, Sunshine Trading, is now the “national market leader” in cattle gallstones: dealing directly with slaughterhouses and securing a nationwide monopoly over the white market.
Gerard isn’t a bloodthirsty profit-monger, but he’s got an eye for value. He’s the reason almost every abattoir in Australia now has a surveillance camera sitting above its gutting table: and why gutties are forced to cut bladders open over stainless steel boxes designed specifically to prevent stones from falling out or getting into the wrong hands.
A stone that’s too dark or pitted will lose its value dramatically; as will a rock that’s been broken and is in poor condition. But undamaged, smooth-textured, full-bodied stones–especially those with pyramidal shapes and a light or golden colour–can be worth their weight in gold.
The demand for ox gallstones has skyrocketed in recent years, thanks to a growing interest in bilirubin-based medicines. Those who’re interested in purchasing them can now do so via darknet marketplaces and private Facebook groups.
The cheapest gallstones sold on the black market cost around $40 USD per gram, while those that are considered of higher quality–and are found in large quantities–can sell for up to $57 USD. As a rough guide, the highest-quality stones can be found in Asia; but they’re often available from darknet markets and private Facebook groups around the world as well.
Theft of Gallstones at an Australian Abattoir