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Hoodia Identification
Starting page
The $ Scam!
Hoodia Pilifera,
NOT Gordonii
"Collectors can't
tell them apart"
How to identify?
Cross pollinated?
Growing in a
flower pot.
Seed still
costs pennies.
Facts about
the scam.

• Endangered species • Cross pollinated • Hybrid plants
Hoodias were declared a protected species and international trade (export from Africa) became illegal without a license. The seed for Hoodias that was available came from A) European rare plant collectors; and B) Rare plant collectors in the USA.

No one knows how pure that seed supply is
Since Hoodias readily cross pollinate into hybrid plants no one knows what the seed one grows will become. You simply have to grow the plant until it matures, then try to identify it.

Commercial agriculture breeds plants for their desirable characteristics such as taste, abundance of fruit, disease resistance, etc. Farmers don't plant unknown seeds; they only plant ones with certified lineage.

To apply this principle to Hoodia would require selecting specimens that contain the maximum percentage of P57, then breeding them to produce seed. These plants in turn would have to be grown to maturity, tested, and bred with others, etc. This is a large and complicated undertaking.

It would require many years of development with an investment of millions of dollars. The end product would be a fast maturing, heavy producing Hoodia with a high percentage of the desirable P57. The plants would have good disease resistance, with other desirable commercial attributes. Rather than reproducing them by seed they would be cloned as commercial orchards are. Crops such as grapes, apples, peaches, almonds, etc. are NOT grown by seed—they are propagated by cuttings. Hoodia could be farmed the same way.

Liver problems killed the research
Then why isn't this being done? Because the extract of Hoodia causes "unwanted effects on the liver" remember? Why spend years of time with huge amounts of money on something already abandoned by one major pharmaceutical firm? If the extract can't pass FDA tests for safety no one will risk the research.

Thus, Hoodia plants exist now in a kind of limbo where scammers profit because "dietary supplements" are not scrutinized by the FDA.

TAXON NAME Range States STATUS 1997 STATUS 2002...
H. gordonii (Masson) Sweet ex Decne. NA, ZA nt LR... [Not threatened, Low Risk}
H. juttae Dinter NA R VU... [Rare, Vulnerable]
H. officinalis (N.E.Br.) Plowes subsp. delaetiana (Dinter) Bruyns NA R EN...
H.pilifera (L.f.) Plowes subsp. annulata (N.E.Br.) Bruyns ZA R... [Rare]
H. ruschii Dinter NA I VU... [Vulnerable]
H. triebneri (Nel) Bruyns NA R VU...
BO = Botswana , NA = Namibia , ZA = South Africa , ZM = Zimbabwe
EN = Endangered, VU = Vulnerable, LR = Low Risk, LC = Least Concern (IUCN categories of threat, 1994)
R = Rare, V = Vulnerable, I = Indeterminate, nt = not threatened (IUCN categories of threat, pre-1994)


Hoodia species, including H. gordonii, are protected species in southern Africa . This means that permits are required for certain activities... H. gordonii , as well as other Hoodia species, are listed as protected species under the Environmental Conservation Ordinance No.19 of 1974. No one is allowed to harvest, collect, damage, collect seeds, trade (import or export) or transport any Hoodia material without a valid permit from the Permit Section of the Directorate of Conservation Service in the Northern Cape...

In terms of Nature Conservation Ordinance 19 of 1974 for ANYONE to trade in Hoodia (or any protected flora), that person will need to be registered and licensed by the Western Cape Nature Conservation Office. Any party involved in the commercial trade of Hoodia , whether it is the primary grower (who grows and harvests the material for sale) or the end seller (who buys it from the grower for processing and resale) must be registered and licensed. Furthermore, an export permit is required to export Hoodia in any form (raw or processed) out of the Province (an Ordinance permit) and out of the country (a CITES permit).
Collectors in Europe have been deliberately cross pollinating Hoodia. How do we know that the seed sources sold in the USA are not similarly hybrids?

Lab wants to trade my cactus for testing?
I requested a price for P57 testing of my Hoodias from a laboratory. In response I received this a reply asking to trade services for my cactus. Videos of a cat were attached. I did not watch them.

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