China facility breeds 6 billion cockroaches a year for 'medicine' | Inquirer Technology

China facility breeds 6 billion cockroaches a year for ‘medicine’

/ 05:36 PM April 19, 2018 stock photo

One’s slippers may seem futile when the fact sinks in that the cockroach population far outnumbers those of humans. It would be impossible to track their numbers, for one farm in China alone breeds about six billion cockroaches every year.

It turns out the cockroaches are used in the production process of a healing potion of some sort, as per the Chinese government via the South China Morning Post today. The healing potion is being consumed by millions of patients in China.


While there are numerous cockroach breeding facilities in China, the one in Xichang city in southwestern Sichuan province is known to breed the most, with 28,000 full-sized cockroaches per square foot being produced annually. The facility operates under the Gooddoctor Pharmaceutical Group in Beijing.

Once the cockroaches reach a certain weight and size, they are put into machines and crushed to make the potion. It is said that the potion has extraordinary effects on stomach pain and recovery, among others.


The facility was able to reach such efficiency, thanks to its “smart manufacturing system” controlled by artificial intelligence algorithms. Dr. Zhang Wei, former assistant researcher in  Zheijang University and who was involved in the development of the system said in the report, “There is nothing like it in the world. It has used some unique solutions to address some unique issues.”

However, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, who declined to be named in the report, mentioned that not all patients know what the potion is made of.

“The source of raw material, to most people, is disgusting. That is an important reason why the use of the potion is not found in other countries,” the researcher said. “Even in China, most patients might not know the liquid came from cockroaches.” Cody Cepeda/JB


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TOPICS: Artificial Intelligence, China, cockroach, insect farming, Medicine, Pharmaceuticals
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