More than 80 percent of the United States supply of heparin, a commonly used blood thinner, originates from pigs reared in farm co-ops in China. Farmers scrape mucus from the intestines and send it to central processing facilities, where heparin is extracted and purified before being sold to U.S. pharmaceutical companies. But in 2007, blue-ear pig disease, causing a respiratory syndrome, became endemic in Asia—leading to a shortage of pigs ...

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