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  Antarctic 'needs to be protected'
Updated 02 February 2004, 09.56
Antarctic
The Antarctic is under threat from drugs companies which are after some of the precious things which are found there, according to the United Nations.

The UN is calling for rules to stop the companies going to the continent - one of our last unspoilt wildernesses - and having a "free for all".

They're after stuff like a natural anti-freeze which is found in some types of Antarctic fish.

Drug companies could use this to lengthen the shelf-life of frozen food.

Penguins live in the Antarctic
Penguins live in the Antarctic

They also think the Antarctic contains natural resources which could be used to treat cancer and other diseases.

The UN doesn't want to stop companies looking for new medicines which could benefit loads of people.

Pristine

But it thinks access to the area should be controlled.

"It's a pristine global park and it needs to be preserved," said a spokesman.

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