Brazil fines 35 firms US$44 million for biopiracy
A Brazilian government agency responsible for natural resources has fined 35 companies for not sharing benefits from exploitation of the country’s biodiversity.
The decision follows official complaints filed by the Genetic Heritage Department of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment to the agency in charge, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama).
Ibama announced earlier this month (6 July) that 35 different companies were responsible of 220 violations of the national law on biodiversity, totaling 88 million Brazilian reals (around US$44 millions) in fines. Most of the fined companies are Brazil-based cosmetic and pharmaceutical multinationals.
Some of the companies were fined for not sharing financial benefits from the exploitation of Brazil’s biodiversity, and others for falsely claiming that they did share the benefits, according to Ibama.
Brazil’s national law on biodiversity stipulates that benefit-sharing resulting from the exploration of biodiversity can include: the sharing of profits or payment of royalties; technology transfer; and the training of people in the region from which a resource has been taken.