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Bitter RootsThe Search for Healing Plants in Africa$
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Abena Dove Osseo-Asare

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226085524

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226086163.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 February 2020

Toward Bioprosperity

Toward Bioprosperity

(p.199) Conclusion Toward Bioprosperity
Bitter Roots

Abena Dove Osseo-Asare

University of Chicago Press

This history of African bioprospecting strengthens understandings of priority, locality, appropriation and benefits. The book indicates herbal preparations and pharmaceuticals have coexisted, as not all efforts to supplant plants with pills since the 1880s were successful. Depending on how widely the plants and related information spread across the world, controversies emerged when multiple parties told overlapping narratives of ownership. Periwinkle, pennywort, and grains of paradise indicate relatively widely distributed plants with many competing popular medicinal recipes within open networks of exchange. This is why it was difficult for activists to get Eli Lilly to redistribute benefits from periwinkle drugs, or even La Roche and Ratsimanaga to pass on profits with respect to pennywort. Strophanthus and Cryptolepis were less widely known, but they did not lead to a discourse of benefit-sharing along ethnic lines in Ghana. After apartheid, Hoodia shows South Africans hoped to close access to information on plants.

Keywords:   Africa, Biodiversity, Bioprosperity, Class-action suit, Commons, Geographic Origins, Indigenous Rights, Intellectual Property Rights, Patents, Open

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