The State news agency, Adina, reported that a 10-year ban on genetically modified foods in Peru has come into effect.
Peru’s President, Ollanta Humala, has approved a law that prohibits the importation, production and use of GMO foods in the country, to preserve Peru’s agricultural biodiversity.
’s Plenary Session of the Congress made the decision 3 years after the decree was written despite previous governmental pushes for GM legalization due largely to the pressure from farmers that together form the Parque de la Papa in Cusco, a farming community of 6,000 people that represent six communities. They were concerned that the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will compromise the native species of Peru
, such as the giant white corn, purple corn and, of course, the famous species of Peruvian potatoes. 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.”
Violating the law can result in a maximum fine of 10,000 UIT tax units, which is about 36.5 million soles ($14 million). The goods can also be seized and destroyed, according to the law.
However, despite the fact that the ban will certainly protect Peru’s crops, more than 70% of the foods on the supermarket shelves in Peru contain GMOs, according to Crisólogo Cáceres, president of APEC, the association of consumers and users.