Dutch councils will collect yew-tree clippings in order to use these for the production of chemotherapy medication.
Using the slogan ‘Vergroot de hoop’ (A bigger mess for hope) seventy Dutch cities and towns will collect the clippings of the taxes baccata – planted in many front yards. The clippings will be taken to Belgium to undergo a drying process before being shipped to pharmaceutical companies in China.
According to the organizers, some 30 metres of yew hedges will deliver one cubic metre of clippings, equalling in 18 grams of medicinal material. That is sufficient for one chemotherapy session. This means a lot of yew-tree needles will be needed for one patient. And, taking into consideration that only branches that are a year old can be used, because only these contain baccatine 3, which pharmacists can transform into docetaxel that can slow down the growth of cancer cells.
Source: Algemeen Dagblad