n. The use or patenting of plants, genes, and other biological products without compensation to the country or region from which they originate. Also: bio-privacy.

Example Citations:
What developing tropical nations are saying is that if the West cries foul over piracy of intellectual property, say, or computer software, then “biopiracy” in Western labs of jungle extracts should also be considered a high economic crime.
—Anthony Faiola, “Amazon Cash Crop,” The Washington Post, July 9, 1999

With fears of biopiracy—the illegal collection of forest materials for economic gain—at an all-time high in the Amazon, Brazil is poised to adopt new controls as the world’s bio-engineering companies race to patent and profit from Amazonia’s diversity.
—Laurie Goering, “Brazil wants cut of biotech firms’ jungle plunder,” Chicago Tribune, July 6, 1999

Earliest Citation:
—“Bio-Piracy: The Story of Natural Coloured Cottons of the Americas,” RAFI Communique, November 1, 1993

Related Words: