GMOs and Peru: Is the debate coming to an end?
Peru "defends its biodiversity, its agriculture, its gastronomy and its health" with a 10-year moratorium on imports of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
On 4 November 2011, the Peruvian Congress has adopted a bill that declares a 10-year moratorium on the import of GMOs, including seeds, livestock, and fish, whether being imported for cultivation or to be raised locally, AFP reported.However, the use of the GMO products for research purposes in a closed environment, will be allowed but closely monitored.
The bill, now goes to President Ollanta Humala to be signed into law. Humala, who has been in power since July, has repeatedly said he opposes GM programs.
There was a long debate and a strong disagreement over the import of GM products in the previous government’s ministries of agriculture and environment. The Peruvian Congress approved a similar 10-year moratorium in June 2011, but outgoing president Alan Garcia, who was seen as being favorable towards the GM, did not ratify the bill.
Jaime Delgado, the head of Peru's Consumer Agency, said that "the moratorium is long enough to learn from scientific studies that will emerge regarding the effects of GMO products."
The country’s leading group of farmers and agricultural producers, the National Agrarian Convention, said that by this measure Peru “defends its biodiversity, its agriculture, its gastronomy and its health.”
However, the GMO fight in Peru is not yet won: the moratorium simply puts the heated spar on a temporary hold.