End of the Eldorado for GMOs in Peru

13 Février 2013

Peru passed a law last December to ban for ten years the imports and the growth of genetic modified organisms (GMOs). "Le Journal International" sheds a light on a decision that splits Latin American countries in two camps.

Moray, Peru
Moray, Peru
A year after voting the law, the implementation of the decree has been adopted in December 2012 during the ministers meeting: the country has officially banished GMOs of its territory. This decision was one of the first decided by the freshly-elected president Ollanta Humala's government (left coalition) in June 2011. It seems that the law matches the people's wish: « areas without GMOs » were claimed everywhere in the country, and polls encouraged this opposition. The law establishes a moratorium on imports and growth of living modified organisms (LMO) for ten years. However, the weak point lies on the exclusion of the growth of GMOs with a "scientific" aim, those intended to pharmaceutical products, and the imported LMOs( and their derivate products), for cattle feeding or human food.

Peru became the antithesis of Argentina and Brazil, two giants in the GMOs sector, which massively produce and export genetically modified plants (especially for cattle feeding in Europe). Last year, Brazil increased again the GMOs growth surfaces according to Céleres, a consulting agency in agribusiness. 


Peru now belongs to a limited circle of countries, along with Ecuador and Bolivia (both have a left government that openly criticizes the United States, from where big companies like Monsanto, export GMOs seeds). Both even inscribed it in their constitution. Kenya also announced recently its will to stop importing GMOs, showing that Africa can also be able to say « no » to North-American corporations. 

In France, commercial cultures of GMOs are forbidden, that is to say intended to human food. The French law matches a 2001 European directive which forbids the growth of genetically modified cultures next to other cultures, to avoid contamination. Nevertheless, GMOs are present in the majority of transformed products (non-organic), whether in the composition of food products or cattle feeding. To prove it, Greenpeace France publishes each year a list of most of the products available in supermarkets, ranking them by category ("with GMOs" or not). It’s in France that Prof. G.E. Seralini published (last year) a study on the toxicity of genetically modified plants, which found echo in Peru and all over the world. Previously, other scientists in the world published their research on likely negative effects on human health, especially denouncing the test protocols before commercialization or authorization. These tests are in fact made by… The companies themselves.

Then, the Peruvian government decided to stand in the way of GMOs for a ten years period, which leaves the door open to a revision of the law in 2021. Thus the solution adopted by its neighbors, to inscribe it in the constitution, would be the best solution, wouldn’t it?

Translated by Laura-Lise Reymond and Jane Zhang


Laura-Lise Reymond
Ex-responsable du pôle traduction et rédactrice à ses heures perdues. En savoir plus sur cet auteur