Brazil fines 35 firms US$44 million for biopiracy
SciDev.Net, 20 July 2012

SAO PAOLO, BRAZIL: 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 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. This is the first time Ibama has fined companies on such a large scale, and there is an option of writing off up to 90 per cent of the fine if the companies agree to better regulate their benefit-sharing policies. Read the article …