BBC NEWS -Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
The Hoodia's properties are well known to Bushmen
The Anti-Fat Pill and the Bushmen was broadcast on BBC Two on Sunday, June 1, 2003 at 1915 BST.
A rare desert cactus, the Hoodia, contains a never before discovered molecule that may hold the answer to one of the world's greatest health problems, obesity and over-eating.
Scientists have isolated an appetite suppressant in the flesh of the plant that is powerful enough to stop people eating all day.
But who holds the rights to this information?
The San Bushmen of the Kalahari desert have known of its powers for decades.
Correspondent reveals how, thanks to a rare spirit of co-operation between first world and third, one of the poorest tribes on earth stand a good chance of becoming overnight millionaires, if the drug passes trials.