Front Porch Blog

From the forest to the pharmacy

[ North Carolina ] The old stone house doesn’t look like a high-tech headquarters, but the banner on the door advertises the home of the western office of the N.C. Biotechnology Center…Within the region’s treasure trove of native plants, center director Cheryl McMurry and others see opportunities for new research and new jobs. “Natural products are the most likely avenue for success in this region. We have a rich biodiversity in this area and a whole culture of herbal medicines.” While biotech often conjures images of cloning or genetic manipulation, local experts see more promise in cultivating, rather than tampering with the plants already growing wild in this area. “Natural biotechnology is unique,” said Greg Cumberford, vice president of strategic initiatives at Gaia Herbs Inc. and a founding member of the N.C. Natural Products Association. “It presents a honoring and reverence for what nature has already given us, rather than manipulating nature.” “Over the long term, we can provide products that people know are properly labeled, well analyzed and safe and natural. That’s going to be an interesting economic posture for WNC, that we can brand nationally.”

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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