In a massive attempt to curb large corporate businesses such as Monsanto, Bayer and Dow, Peru has officially passed a law in 2011 banning genetically modified ingredients in the country for a whole 10 years. I bet you didn’t know that, did you?
After years of discussion, the Parque de la Papa in Cusco, a farming community of 6,000 people that represent six communities, came together to discuss their concern for the introduction of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) that would potentially harm, eradicate and modify heirloom and native species of food.Peru is famous for its 5,000 varieties of potatoes and preserving its seed authenticity. The passing of this legislation is a huge success to the preservation of authentic heirloom seeds as well as the health and future of our children.
Anibal Huerta, President of Peru’s Agrarian Commission, said the ban was needed to prevent the “danger that can arise from the use of biotechnology.” Health concerns include higher developmental risks for children and have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals. (Spilling the Beans: Unintended GMO Health Risks)
Though the ban will stop the planting and integration of GMOs in the country, a study has found that 77 percent of produce in supermarkets were tested to contain genetically modified contaminants. Unfortunately, GMO’s are so common in the US Marketplace that it is almost impossible to know what is authentic and what is genetically modified. Much of today’s processed foods also contain GMO’s.
“Research by ASPEC confirms something that Peruvians knew all along: GM foods are on the shelves of our markets and wineries, and consumers buy them and take them into their homes to eat without knowing it. Nobody tells us, no one says anything, which involves a clear violation of our right to information,” Cáceres told Gestión.
“There is an increasing consensus among consumers that they want safe, local, organic fresh food and that they want the environment and wildlife to be protected,” wrote Walter Pengue from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, in a recent statement concerning GMOs in South America. “South American countries must proceed with a broader evaluation of their original agricultural policies and practices using the precautionary principle.”
To read more, visit Peru Passes Monumental Ten Year Ban on Genetically Engineered Foods