$10 million a litre: Can you milk this opportunity for all it’s worth?

Scorpion venom is said to fetch $10 million per litre – so is now the time to swap small caps for small traps and start your life anew as a farmer milking arched arachnids for their liquid gold?

Scorpion venom is said to fetch $10 million per litre – so is now the time to swap small caps for small traps and start your life anew as a farmer milking arched arachnids for their liquid gold?

For Turkish entrepreneur Metin Orenler, who recently revealed how his scorpion farm works, the answer is yes. (For this writer, due diligence told a different story and stalled plans for a career change.)

Mr Orenler’s breeding laboratory, which opened in 2020, now houses around 20,000 scorpions, in clear boxes that line the walls, waiting for staff to milk their venom using tweezers and tongs.

A single scorpion produces about two milligrams of venom, with the lab able to obtain about two grams of venom daily. One litre of the venom, the farm owner says, is worth $10 million.

“We freeze the venom that we obtain as a result of the milking,” Mr Orenler said. “Then we turn it into powder and sell it to Europe.”

Exports to France, the UK, Germany and Switzerland keep his business alive and well, the entrepreneur said, adding the venom is used to produce cosmetics, painkillers and antibiotics.

And while some of the miracle-like claims made by cosmetics companies are unproven, the potential medical uses of extracts from the venom are considered scientifically very exciting, including by researchers here in Australia.

In the past few years, scorpion venom providers have been popping up around the world, lured by the promise of big dollars – but it’s not that simple, says French company Latoxan, one of the most well-known producers of snake and scorpion venom in the world.

While Latoxan’s customers do indeed buy the venom and use it to manufacture antidotes to scorpion bites or for scientific research into drugs to fight cancer, inflammatory diseases and arthritis, the company says most amateur farmers don’t know what they’re talking about.

“What kind of scorpion? What are the venom’s main features? Which molecular weight? Which purity? Which biological activity? They don’t know all of this information because they don’t have the adequate technology to find out,” a Latoxan representative said.

“Nobody will buy venom without knowing these details, and in any case they’ll want to buy it from a reliable laboratory, not from amateurs. So that’s the first problem.

“The second is that all the scorpion venom consumption in the world is not nearly as high as people seem to think. Some researchers don’t even buy venom from us, because they prefer to use their own scorpions and milk the venom themselves.

“There are already enough reliable laboratories in the world to produce all the needed venom.”

We here at Reach don’t provide personal financial advice, but to avoid an investment with an inevitable sting in the tail, perhaps don’t give up your day job or current investment strategies, after all.

Sources:

 

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