Peru divided over benefits, risks of GMOs


The prospect of genetically modified crops spreading through Peru’s coastal desert, Andean highlands and tropical lowlands has split government agencies. Agricultural officials argue biotechnology offers hope to poor farmers, while environmental officials assert it could jeopardize the country’s rich biological diversity. Even those in the center disagree on where and how to draw the line, a state of affairs that is very much on display as officials seek public comment for draft rules governing implementation of Peru’s 1999 biosafety law. Such debate intensified last July, when a separate measure associated with the biosafety law—a decree promoting biotechnology and empowering the National Institute for Agricultural Innovation (Inia) to conduct biotech oversight and research—was implemented, sparking an outcry from environmentalists. Environment Minister Antonio Brack Egg... [Log in to read more]

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