Rural Connection: Growing Top-Secret Native Narcotics

Duboisia is a native tree that contains the powerful narcotic hyoscine in its leaves. First Nations people used the shrub to treat stomach upsets and as a general pain reliever, however Westerners have incorporated it into travel sickness remedies. 

The small sleepy town of Kingaroy in Queensland is now Australia’s Duboisia industry powerhouse, with pharmaceutical companies leading the way. Hopeful growers are required to sign confidentiality agreements, only fill their quota and only plant the DNA-marked varieties they are provided.

Willy Russo spoke with Professor Robert Henry from the University of Queensland’s Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation to learn more about this top-secret industry.

Tune in for Rural Connection every Tuesday morning at 7:45 for your dose of regional news, brought to you by two country girls, Willy Russo and Gabi Warner!

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