Genetically Modified Foods Are Not Allowed in Peru

Genetically Modified Foods Are Not Allowed in Peru
Bernadine Racoma

Peru is mostly known as being the cradle of the great Inca Empire. For thousands of years, quality products have been produced on its soil which gave life and support to its entire people. Peru is home to many indigenous plant species. Last 2011, the government of Peru became the first nation in the Americas to put a ban on  “Genetically Modified Organisms”, that include genetically modified foods. The law was passed and implemented at the end of 2011. The ban is set to last for a decade.

Protecting biodiversity and indigenous crops

According to Antonietta Gutierrez, a well known biologist at the National Agrarian University in Peru, the law that was passed favors “biosecurity.” A lot of research has been conducted and results reveal that the use of GMO would have some effect in the natural order of growing crops. Gutierrez believes in the use of technology to further increase agrarian productivity but to the extent that it does not have any destructive effect.

Peru’s Food Policy closely relates to that of Europe’s

The provisions of this law that Peru implemented in 2011 are still not followed to the letter according to consumer groups since GMOs are still found in supermarket shelves. The Peruvian law that is related to GMOs is somehow closely related to the food policies that are being implemented in continental Europe

Europe has a very firm stand in terms of not using GMOs since there is the belief that using such genetically altered crops may induce contamination or worse, result in negative effects to human health.

The European Union however does not totally ban the use of GMOs since its existing policy provides for its coexistence with usual crops. However, using GMOs require strict compliance to regulations pertaining to how GMOs are planted and produced. At the moment, there is no uniformity to these regulations since they differ in various European nations.

Political color

Some researchers in the University of Lleida’s Agrotencio Center stated that the EU is somehow belittling its own capabilities in terms of boosting its agricultural sector. These researchers believe that the policies strictly being implemented for using and planting GMOs are unnecessary. They also contend that while the EU is strictly monitoring its GMO production, it is also being very dependent on GE foods being exported by foreign countries.

With the foregoing facts, they believe that the purpose on which the GMO policies were based not mainly because of properly maintaining and closely monitoring GMO products but were merely political convenience that only aims for short term economical growth and stability.

Expanding partnership with China

In a related development, Peru has engaged in a partnership with one of the most powerful nations in the world, China in terms of expanding and creating a deeper relationship in the agriculture sector. A ceremony was held at Sanya, one of China’s provinces in the south Hainan district, to cement this relationship.

There were a number of agreements both nations signed and agreed upon. The meeting was supposedly aiming to improve both countries partnership in terms of education, poverty, agriculture as well as small business that would help their nations growth on various aspects.


Comment Below
  • Alexander Grobman

    Peru imports 60% of its demand of maize or about 2 million tons, all its demand of soybean meal -nearly one million tons and all its needs of soybean oil yearly from Argentina, USA, B olivia and Paraguay and is 100% GMO. Poultry production is very efficient in Peru and is based largely on imported feed grains which are all transgenic. The 10 year moratorium has no technical and sound considerations. It is political and based on an electoral promise made by he present President. Up until the last presidential elections support for a moratorium sponsored by a group on NGOs with foreign funding – including the one presided by Antonietta Gutierrez – was halted. Peru will sooner than later return to a policy of not barring GMOs being planted, after an evaluation of risk case by case as is demanded by the Cartagena Protocol of Biosafety of which Peru is a member. Peru has Free Trade Agreements with 20 countries of which China is one. China is an important trading partner and it receives food imports from Peru but does not supply Peru with food products to any important extent.

    Alexander Grobman PhD.
    President, PeruBiotec- Peruvian Association for the Promotion of Biotechnology.


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