Drugs: Bark for Cancer's Bite

Bark for Cancer's Bite

The Pacific Coast's forests are teeming with hidden drugs, including the legal kind. Last week the Agriculture Department decided to allow the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb to cut down 38,000 Pacific yew trees for one such substance. The bark of the yew tree is the sole source for a drug called taxol, a promising treatment for breast and ovarian cancer. Despite concerns over the impact of the yew harvest, most environmental groups support the agreement because it specifies that Bristol-Myers will pay for Forest Service research into conservation and management of the yews.

Criticism has centered instead on the sweetheart nature...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!