Thursday, June 9, 2011

Peru moratorium

10-year moratorium approved on entrance of GMOs to Peru
By Elie Gardner
June 8, 2011

Farmers from Cusco came to Lima at the beginning of May to protest the entrance of GMOs to Peru.

Congress has adopted a bill that declares a 10-year moratroium on the entrance of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for cultivation and breeding or any other type of transgenic products, reports Perú.21 .

The project was supported by the president of the Agricultural Commission Aníbal Huerta, who warned against the danger he says that biotechnology could bring to the country’s biodiversity.

Well known Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio posted words of celebration on his Facebook account after the vote.

“By a very clear majority, the Congress, true to the Republic, just repealed the regulation that allowed the entry of GM seeds for cultivation in our soil. Thus, the Peru national brand, a country dedicated, versatile and with unique biodiversity is under way to reach its objectives to conquer and seduce the world with what we have. To Peruvanize to world, ” said Acurio in his post.

The bill received the backing of several members of Congress, includig Elizabeth León, Franklin Sánchez, Mauricio Mulder, Oswaldo Luízar, Jorge del Castillo, Oswaldo de la Cruz, Luis Wilson, Yonhy Lescano, Aldo Estrada, Hilda Guevara, Gloria Ramos and María Sumire. From different perspectives, the group agreed on defending the nation’s biodiversity, but they disagreed on the length of the moratrium.

Congressman Alejandro Rebaza, along with colleagues Sánchez and Estrada, proposed a technical committee for prevention and research in the next two years. The comittee will be responsible for issuing a report on their findings.

Congressmen Raúl Castro and Juan Carlos Eguren were againt the moratorium, stating that Peruvians already consume genetically modified crops and could not close the door on biotechnology because transgenic production, which seeks to meet food demand by producing high yields, is 70 percent cheaper than organic production.

Congressman José Saldaña asked biologists to debate the topic, while lawmaker Yaneth Cajahuanca suggested leaving the decision to the next administration.

Congressmen Luis Giampietri and Édgardo Núñez said they could not close the doors to science and preferred a five-year moratorium.

The proposal was approved by 56 votes in favor, zero against and two abstentions and acquitted of second ballot.

The adopted bill establishes a moratorium of 10 years. It gives the Ministry of the Environment authority of the topic, and creates a Technical Committee on Risk Assessment and Prevention of use of GMOs, which in two years must submit a report to Congress.

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