Biopiracy and Bioprospecting
Managing in a Global Economy
MSOM 305 Summer 2010
Special Presentation Paper
Team Group Project:
1. intro (stephan done; someone please proofread and initial)
One of the hot topics currently worldwide besides the oil spill and the war in the Middle East are dealing with biopiracy and bioprospecting. Currently there are drastic measures being taken worldwide in various countries that are attempting to protect the indigenous knowledge of that country in the battle. International companies or even private entrepreneurs trying to gain a share of the natural resources found in foreign countries and market them for either financial gain or other causes. With the worldwide process of human globalization and the fusion of small companies into bigger ones. The amount research that is being spend on finding new medicines and new ways of improving daily life are highly sought after. This all boils down to protecting the knowledge of the elders that has been passed on from generation to generation and was often kept "secret" from western society and its companies. There are many different views about the legality and ethics that are being brought to daylight with some of these cases and the way certain companies are acting. In this paper we will try to give an overview and provide some case examples and give further inside into the world of Biopiracy and Bioprospecting.
1. bioprospecting vs biopiracy (seb- DONE,proofraad by stephan: sounds good)
1. Bioprospecting and Biopiracy both entail the extraction of biodiverse material or techniques unique to an indigenous area that have been patented and produced to mainstream markets. The difference between the two is that Bioprospecting is a term coined by its supporters whereas biopiracy comes from opponents of such exploitation. In either case, the result is often that biological material that has been screened and found useful to a corporation from a developed nation will often be patented in such a way that it can not be used by the indigenous population that was originally using it without paying the producing company a fee. There are many examples of instances where pharmaceutical companies have exploited developing nations with indigenous people who do not have the resources or knowledge on how to defend themselves and their country.
2. On one hand the bioprospectors, the supporters, argue that their scientific research is critical to the improvement of quality of life for people around the world. This is a result of being able to extract from the biomaterial cures or treatments for diseases and create the ability to increase crop yields. On the other hand the opponents argue that the bioprospectors are in fact biopirates and steal the livelihood of indigenous tribes to make profits in the billions of dollars. Essentially the term is defined by the ethical approaches...