Library & Tools


What is Biopiracy?

Graham Dutfield

This paper discusses the meaning of the term biopiracy and considers what should be done about it. The paper notes that the term biopiracy has emerged as a term to describe the ways that corporations from the developed world claim ownership of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and technologies of developing countries.

The author argues that drawing lines between acts of biopiracy and legitimate practices is very hard to establish. The difficulty in drawing the line is compounded by the vagueness in the way the term is applied. Behind much of the debate about biopiracy is disagreement on whether and to what extent such terms as theft, misappropriation and unfair free-riding should apply.

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