World Rainforest Movement

Brazil: accusation of biopiracy

According to a decision of the Federal Public Ministry and the Court of Justice of Acre State, the swiss NGO Selva Viva is up to be expelled from the Brazilian territory. CIMI and the Union of Indigenous Nations of Acre (Uniao das Nacoes Indigenas do Acre) had denounced Selva Viva in the courts for suspected activities of biopiracy, because of its activities of cataloguing roots, barks and seeds for international laboratories (Ciba-Geigy, Hoechst, Sandoz, Lilly and Johnson & Johnson. Acre is the first Brazilian State that approved a law to protect biodiversity. In case the expulsion takes place, it would be the first effective judicial action against biopiracy in Brazil.

Source: CIMI, 7/8/97.