PERU: TRANSNATIONALS ACCUSED OF INTERFERING WITH GM FOOD LAWS

SUMMARY: "Civil society groups denounced on Monday the intervention by transnational corporations like Monsanto in stopping the implementation of a genetically modified (GM) foods prohibition law."

Civil society groups denounced on Monday the intervention by transnational corporations like Monsanto in stopping the implementation of a genetically modified (GM) foods prohibition law.

Three years ago Peru banned genetically modified seeds to protect its rich biodiversity that includes 56 types of corn and close to 4000 thousand types of potatoes among thousands of other products.

Luis Gomero, is the executive coordinator of Alternative Agriculture Action Network. This is a group of NGO’s, agricultural associations, municipalities and other governmental and non-governmental institutions. He says the large multinationals are penetrating the government to push for the allowance of GM foods.

Gomero explained that, "The seeds corporations have infiltrated government officials, like they have done in other countries. They are repeating the strategy. It is the same. They were able to place their functionaries inside, and what these are doing is serving a concrete objective: Blocking the existing law and setting new temporary regulations.”

He continued, “they have designed a strategy to be able to take key offices and in this manner be able to neutralize the implementation of the prohibition. The risk is that if the prohibition is not implemented, they are going to find a justification indicating that the law does not generate any benefit for the development of the country.”

Meanwhile, mainstream media continues to discusses weather or not GM Foods are beneficial. However, Antonietta Gutiérrez, Doctor in Natural Sciences and Genetics believes the issue of the health risks of genetically modified foods and the benefits of maintaining the countries biodiversity have already been settled.

She argues, “I consider the preoccupations of health and conserving biodiversity as two important factors that in the global arena have always been present with regards to modified live organisms. That is why, when I hear attempts to go back to the discussion of weather it is good or it is bad, if this affects biodiversity or if it affects human health I thinks is distracting us from what we have already debated and made decisions. Now we have to say, since we already have the law, we have to figure out how much do we need to do to implement it and what else is needed.”

TeleSUR requested an official statement from the Ministry of Agriculture but did not receive an answer.

Peru is one of 12 mega-diverse countries with 65% of its agriculture dependent on local native products. All of that richness could be at risk without proper regulations.

SOURCE: Telesur
URL: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Peru-Transnationals-Accused-of-Int...
DATE: 16.01.2015