Source: Environmental Protection Authority
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved a fungus known as the mushroom of immortality for cultivation in New Zealand.
For more than 2,000 years, Ganoderma sichuanense has been harvested and used in traditional Chinese medicine for health benefits that include boosting the immune system and helping treat depression and high blood pressure.
Numerous scientific studies show that supplements made from the fungus also have anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The mushroom is traditionally collected from forests or grown on farms, but Alpha Health Care (New Zealand) Limited applied to cultivate the organism in industrial-sized fermentation vats, or bioreactors. No mushrooms or spores develop during this process.
Only the relevant molecules, called fungal polysaccharides, will be extracted, purified, and dried for use in health products.
“The EPA ensures new organisms entering the country are safe and won’t have significant adverse effects on people or the environment,” says Miriam Robertson, New Organisms Manager.
“Our risk assessments found it is highly improbable the fungus could escape and harm people or the environment – given the strict containment conditions and the rules put in place. We have also identified potential economic benefits from cultivating this organism.”
The health supplements produced will be for domestic consumers and exported, to tap into a global market for supplements made from the fungus that is worth more than $3 billion.