Who Are the Maca Pirates of Peru? (VIDEO)

Who Are the Maca Pirates of Peru? (VIDEO)

Mike Dreckschmidt

A VICE News report looks at Peru’s struggle to maintain ownership of their maca root, a native plant claimed to have many medicinal properties.

Higher fertility, increased sexual stamina, and curing cancer are only a few of the claims that have been made about maca, one of Peru’s native root plants that grow at extremely high altitudes.

About a week ago, Vice News published a video report on their Youtube Channel. It investigates why a family of maca growers in the high regions of Junin in Central Peru are no longer able to sell the root despite the increase in demand abroad.

As it turns out, China has found a way to grow their own maca, which violates international code dictated by the Nagoya Protocol. The protocol considers native plant products to be the intellectual property of their country of origin. Peru has a special task force dedicated to challenging Chinese companies that patent maca products, but so far it hasn’t been enough to bring business back to Junin.

What else can Peru do to protect their products?

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