Biopiracy: How companies are buying up nature

Jul 5, 2023 | Environmental, Medicine, Videos


The world of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics is reliant on substances derived from the natural environment. But bioprospecting, the practice of exploring and extracting natural elements from their original habitat, is increasingly leading to biopiracy. Companies are patenting natural ingredients for use in their products and making billions in the process – sometimes without giving anything back to the environment or the communities that originally used these ingredients for generations.

This unethical industry has been called out by several documentaries, such as Jeremy Irons’ 2019 film Trashed. The documentary uncovers how corporations are exploiting our planet’s resources through toxic practices such as dumping garbage into oceans and rivers, as well as stealing ingredients from traditional areas that have relied on them for centuries.

The film follows Irons as he investigates this issue around the world – from India to Costa Rica – speaking with experts about its implications and meeting communities facing a future without access to their traditional resources. Through interviews with tribal leaders, scientists, environmental activists and business owners, Trashed paints a vivid picture of how companies are profiting off of stolen resources while ignoring the environmental destruction caused by their practices.

From hearing stories of companies buying traditional crops at unfair prices to witnessing native tribes being denied access to ancestral lands, viewers will be left shocked by how complicit many businesses can be in this system of exploitation. The documentary also shines a light on more sustainable solutions being implemented by local communities in an effort to protect their heritage while preserving nature for future generations.

By bringing together emotional testimonies and inspiring acts of activism, Trashed gives viewers a powerful insight into the consequences of biopiracy and invites us all to take action against it. If you’re looking for an eye-opening exploration into this issue then make sure you watch Jeremy Irons’ documentary Trashed – it’s sure to leave an impact!

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David B