Counterfeit Rhino Horns: Unethical, OK, or Awesomely Super-Ethical?

business_ethics_highlights_2Using rhino horns for implausible folk remedies is bad. Doing so to the point where rhinos face extinction is even worse. Selling counterfeit goods and thus fooling customers is also generally bad. But what about when you do the latter to foil the former? What about fraud in the name of conservation?

See this piece about a company that is flooding the Chinese market with high-quality high-tech fake rhino horns, in an attempt to kill the market for real rhino horns. It might not work. But is it otherwise OK? >>>

LINK: Biotech firm creates fake rhino horn to reduce poaching (by KESAVAN UNNIKRISHNAN in Digital Journal)

A San Francisco biotech startup has managed to 3D print fake rhino horns that carry the same genetic fingerprint as the actual horn. It plans to flood Chinese market with these cheap horns to curb poaching.

Pembient, based in San Francisco uses keratin — a type of fibrous protein — and rhino DNA to produce a dried powder which is then 3D printed into synthetic rhino horns which is genetically and spectrographically similar to original rhino horns.The company plans to release a beer brewed with the synthetic horn later this year in the Chinese market.

What do you think?

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