Clean needles depend on the blue blood of horseshoe crabs

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Anyone who has to get an injection in the U.S. probably has horseshoe crabs to thank for keeping the needle clean. A test used to screen medical products for bacteria has a crucial ingredient — the milky blue blood of the horseshoe crab. The blood is bled from hundreds of thousands of the creatures each year. Ninety percent of them make it back to the sea as a renewable resource. Much of this work happens in South Carolina, where Gov. Henry McMaster says the industry is vital to the development of a domestic medical supply chain. The Food and Drug Administration has been asked to approve a synthetic alternative.