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Randers, 15 March 2016

Recently Danish Crown sold 101 grams of gallstone at a price per kilo corresponding to DKK 43,000 in Hong Kong where the rare commodity is believed to cure various ailments.

Is it bonkers, brilliant or a bright example of the many opportunities of selling unusual commodities? Well, it is debatable, but the fact that Danish Crown Beef recently sold 101 grams of cattle gallstone at a price per kilo corresponding to DKK 43,000 makes Henrik Elvang, Professor and Veterinarian at the University of Copenhagen, smile.

- Really! That was quite expensive. Perhaps we should consider selling our collection of gallstones although it originates from 1917, says Professor Elvang.

The Danish Crown gallstones are more recent. They were collected over the course of the last couple of months at the abattoir in Holsted, Denmark.

- We keep the gallstones in a special box until we have a suitable amount to be sold. The high gallstone price has made us focus on the commodity and we have now started collecting from our cattle abattoirs in Husum in Germany, Sweden and from Sokolow in Poland, says Jacob Rahbek Pedersen, Senior Manager Export.

Alternative View
At the University of Copenhagen Professor Elvang explains the high price and interest in gallstones – which most Westerners turn their nose up from – by an alternative view of matters in Asia.

- Oriental medicine has a different approach than ours. It swears by the exotic and will often assume that which is rare can cure various diseases. For instance some drink snake poison to cure certain ailments and in the East many believe that crushed horn from the rhinoceros can cure ailments or enhance physiological conditions. This is where gallstones fit in, Professor Elvang explains.

Gallstones, which can arise following inflammation of the bile ducts or the gale bladder, are believed to remove headache and general low spirits but it is also believed to be able to rectify failing sexual prowess. Whether this is true Professor Elvang does not know. Meanwhile, he underlines that gallstones are no serious ailment to the cattle.

- The animal is seldom affected, which is confirmed by the fact that animals with gallstones are not stopped by the Danish Veterinary Service, Professor Elvang points out.