INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE PESQUISAS ESPACIAIS
THE LARGE SCALE BIOSPHERE-ATMOSPHERE EXPERIMENT IN AMAZONIA
April 22, 1998.
To all LBA -Ecology Scientists and Associated Personnel:
It is highly likely that Brazil will pass a new law governing the removal, use and study of all resources containing DNA in Brazil. This law is called the "Código Genético" ("Access to Genetic Resources"). This proposed bill is an expression of the resounding sentiment within Brazil that foreigners have reaped the economic benefits of Brazilian natural resources. And there are years of data to justify this sentiment. Whether or not the bill is passed, Brazilian officials will view all scientific work by foreigners as having the potential to exploit Brazil's DNA resources.
The Access to Genetic Resources Bill (no 306/95) has been in the Federal Senate since October 1995. On Nov. 19, 1997, the Senate's Commission on Social Affairs voted its approval for the bill, with three minor amendments. As of December 1997 the bill still had to go through one other Senate commission. An inter-ministerial working group headquartered in the President's office is preparing a (considerably abbreviated) version of its own for this bill, to be presented "soon". The Access to Genetic Resources Bill is expected to pass before the end of 1998. Therefore, this law likely will affect LBA by imposing tighter controls on the export of scientific samples out of Brazil.
Please find extracts of this bills most salient and relevant points attached.
Head of CPTEC