It is now common knowledge that the Japanese in taking Java cut off the source of almost the entire prewar quinine supply of the world. It is equally well known that the resulting quinine shortage is still, in spite of many ingenious and valuable countermeasures, one of the most serious problems of medical warfare. The American Medical Association can rightly be proud of having been, seventy-five years ago, the protagonist of a plan which, if it had been executed, would have saved us our present difficulties.
In 1738, a hundred years after the introduction of the Peruvian bark into our pharmacopeia, La Condamine had already foreseen the exhaustion of the South American supply as a consequence of the purely destructive methods of "production" in New Granada, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. After a hundred years had passed the situation had grown so dangerous indeed that the Dutch and the English started
ACKERKNECHT EH. THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AND THE CULTIVATION OF THE CINCHONA TREE IN THE UNITED STATES. JAMA. 1943;123(6):375. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.82840410016022
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