RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- The Brazilian government has investigated the presumed sale of genetic samples of Brazilian Indians through the Internet, local press reported on Saturday.
President of state-run National Indigenous Peoples Foundation (Funai), Mercio Pereira, has requested the federal police to investigate the case and the Foreign Ministry to take measures in view of the severity of the situation.
Company Coriel Cell, a US biotechnological firm, offered through its Internet site, genetic samples extracted from the blood of Karitiana and Surui Indians in the Brazil's Amazonian state of Rondonia, at a price of 85 US dollars, Funai said.
Leaders of the tribes admitted that some Brazilian and foreign researchers came to their villages years ago and collected blood from at least half of the 350 individuals living in their communities, Funai added.
The Brazilian Foreign Ministry was reportedly to have asked itsdiplomats in Washington to take measures to force the company to remove the mentioned information from the website.
Coriel Cell was accused in 1996 of offering a sample of geneticmaterial of other Indian communities in Brazil.
Currently, some 700,000 Indians of 255 different ethnic groups,with 180 different languages, live in Brazil.