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Ecuador against genetic piracy with Indian blood

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Staff writer ▼ | June 18, 2014
Ecuador is bent on taking action against an oil company and an American research center for the use of blood samples they tricked Amazon Indians into giving them and which they then allegedly used for scientific research.
Ecuador Indians
Ecuador IndiansEcuador is bent on taking action against an oil company and an American research center for the use of blood samples they tricked Amazon Indians into giving them and which they then allegedly used for scientific research.


So said Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in his usual Saturday broadcast, during which he demanded an inter-American and international regulation to stop this kind of genetic "piracy."

"We’re studying a course of legal action to be taken in the coming weeks," said Mr. Correa. This, the president said, is an example of the "unjust international order" that punishes the piracy of intellectual property with prison, but does not prosecute what is done with genetic material obtained illegitimately from indigenous peoples.

Mr. Correa said that since the 1970s, U.S. researchers have obtained blood samples from Waorani Indians, an Amazon ethnicity, without their consent in order to perform scientific research. At least, he said, 31 research papers were written between 1989 and 2012 based on such samples, obtained without the Indians’ consent nor the payment of royalties that would be essential for other kinds of commercial substances.


 

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