Biopiracy is the practice whereby pharmaceutical companies or research scientists collect and remove biological specimens and related indigenous knowledge, without authorization, acknowledgment, and/or due compensation, in order to develop commercial products, such as modern medicines, for profit. The term biopiracy is highly controversial and has emerged as a critique of bioprospecting. In this highly polarized debate, cases regarding the research and development of biological resources are generally characterized in one of two ways: as bioprospecting, which is the acceptable practice of research and development of medicinal plants and believed to result in win-win scenarios for local communities and international actors; or as biopiracy, in which villains and victims are seen as perpetuating the sustained history of colonial exploitation of developing nations. One of history's most ...

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