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By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: May 9th, 2013
Peru first country to ban GMOs

Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs as they are called, are controversial here in the U.S., home of Monsanto, the huge multinational agribusiness and leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and of Roundup, which has also come under scrutiny as of late.

GMOs are also controversial all over the planet, but only one country has yet to ban them: Peru.

Protecting the country’s rich biodiversity fueled its legislature to pass a law in 2011, which went into effect at the end of this past year. It sufficiently bars the use of organisms that have been altered via genetic engineering–anything from bacteria, to animals, and plants, according to a recent Christian Science Monitor article.

It’s the only country in the Americas to put a 10-year ban on genetically modified food, with a law that was first introduced in 2011, and went into effect at the end of last year. Scientists acknowledge that there have been no longterm studies of GMOs and their safety and even effect on existing non-GMO species. The 10-year ban, they say, would allow for data to be evaluated.

“Peru’s new law puts its food policy closer to that of Europe, than to that of the United States or many of its South American neighbors. While genetically modified species can still be tested in controlled lab settings, as of December 2012, they can’t be planted or set free, and GMO seeds are barred from entering the country. Both activists and many scientists consider this a coup,” according to the online article.

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