he medicinal and aromatic plants of Algeria are exploited by pharmaceutical, and agri-food and cosmetic companies abroad without any benefit to the national economy, Algerian experts met at a Maghreb workshop on genetic resources said.
Academics and even tourists "offer to foreigners, the country’s genetic heritage for free," told APS Prof. Aissa Abdelguerfi, Graduate of National School of Agronomy (ENSA) of Algiers on the margin a Maghreb workshop on the benefits of the genetic resources utilization.
"No legal framework was adopted to preserve the national genetic heritage (plants, animals, micro-organisms)," he said, regretting that nationals transfer this very heritage abroad in the absence of any legal framework, which is treated as "bio-piracy."
Under the coverage of scientific research, Algerians get scholarships and internships at various international companies and research facilities abroad to study the genetic heritage of medicinal and aromatic plants and micro-organisms (eg bacteria of warm waters of the South, plants resistant to drought, salinity) in order to be patented, the same expert noted.
The countries of origin do not benefit at all from these resources, except for the researcher who sees his name on a study. No advantage is granted to local economy after the marketing of such products stemmed from researches. However, the financial incomes could have been used for same research in the country of origin or supporting the natural parks and protect this heritage, he explained.