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Bioprospecting is an umbrella term describing the process of discovery and commercialization of new products based in biological resources, typically in less-developed countries. Bioprospecting often draws on indigenous knowledge about uses and characteristics of plants and animals. In this way, bioprospecting includes biopiracy, the exploitative appropriation of indigenous forms of knowledge by commercial actors, as well as the search for previously unknown compounds in organisms that have never been used in traditional medicine.
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1. biological theft; illegal collection of indigenous plants by corporations who patent them for their own use
(hypernym) larceny, theft, thievery, thieving, stealing
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developing countries unhappy about the activities of biotechnology firms from industrialised countries searching out plants that give improved crop yields or which contain substances of pharmaceutical value; complaints arise when firms prospect without permission or expropriate the results of their investigations without payment or acknowledgement e.g. genetic material in the Amazon Rain Forest.
Copyright © 2001, Ray Wright
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