Lima, Peru Becomes a GMO-Free Zone

Last week, Lima, the capitol of Peru, became a GMO-free zone. Several other municipalities in Peru have already declared themselves free of transgenic and genetically-modified organisms.

Earlier in the month, Peru’s congress passed a bill prohibiting the import of genetically modified organisms for cultivation, breeding, or any transgenic production for the next ten years. The bill is awaiting the signature of the president.

The GMO-free sentiment rose up because of a regulation announced in April which was intended to β€œeliminate errors, control the use of genetically-modified organisms, and make sure they don’t come into the country if they are found to be a risk,” according to Rafael Quevedo, Peru’s Minister of Agriculture.

It’s difficult to determine if GMOs pose a risk. Biotech companies patent the GM plants and have the right to refuse to let universities and independent groups test the seeds for risks to human and animal health and the environment. Some studies have been done, but not to the extent they really should have.

Peru is one of the world’s largest exporters of organic food, with more than $3 billion each year in revenues. The agricultural sector would risk losing access to organic markets as well as the premium paid for organic goods if GMOs contaminated their fields.

Biodiversity is also a significant concern for Peru. Field crops can cross-pollinate with wild plants and the resulting cross might have less than desirable characteristics.

Image by cubanjunky, used with Creative Commons license.

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  1. The information is incomplete. Total exports of agricultural products in Peru were valued at US$ 3,300 million, of which only US$ 200 million were organic food. Some 2/3 of the organic exports were of organic coffee. Farmers who plant organic coffee are very poor since they get a very low yield – about 10.8 cwt per hectare as an average. Famers who fertilize and use pesticides may get 4 times or more as much in erms of conventional coffee.
    Since the passing of the Congress GM Moratorium Bill, the Executive branch of the Peruvian Government has vetoes the bill.
    The decision by the lady Mayor of the city of Lima to block the use of GM crops in the area of Lima is absurd. Peru imports GM crops by the million of tons and feeds its population including Lima with 8 million people with GM food since 1996. There has been no single case of helath problems due to GM foods which are all around the supermarket shelves.

    • You have no shame promoting lies and trying to destroy a mega-biodiverse country that is Peru with your genetic modified food. Apparently, it is not enough to witness your destruction inflicted on the people of the United States with all that junk fast food and artificial etc’s…

      Your type are driven by greed and ignorance.

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