The only other country in the Americas besides Ecuador to completely ban genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) from being cultivated within its borders, the South American nation of Peru has taken charge to help protect not only its own citizens but also the people of the countries to whom it exports food crops from the horrors of biotechnology. As reported byCSMonitor.com, Peru has successfully implemented a 10-year moratorium on GMOs while extensive, long-term safety tests are conducted.
Accomplishing what practically no other country in North, Central, or South America has yet had the willingness or boldness to even attempt, Peru has essentially told the biotechnology industry to take its untested “Frankencrops” and shove them where the sun does not shine. Not only are GMOs dangerous for the environment and humans, agree many local experts and farmers, but they also threaten to decimate the rich biodiversity that has sustained the many civilizations of Peru for millennia.
“They’re a big monoculture, which is why people usually end up using GMOs,” says Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino about the detriments of factory farming, as quoted by CSMonitor.com. Schiaffino owns two restaurants in Lima that serve clean, native foods, including many unique varieties found only in the Amazon rainforest. “[W]hen you have monocultures, the crops end up getting diseases, and you have to look for these extreme ways to fix them.”
So to prevent the complete loss of a farming tradition that has long incorporated the diverse cultivation of a plethora of native and indigenous crops, Peruvians have decided to simply disallow the raping and pillaging of their rich soils with toxic GMOs. And in the process, this embargo will help perpetuate the native biodiversity practices that have sustained Peruvians since the days when the Incan Empire reigned supreme.
GMOs and life-sustaining biodiversity simply cannot coexist
Recognizing what the vast majority of our own domestic politicians and grossly-overpaid corporate talking heads refuse to acknowledge, GMOs, by their very nature, contradict actual nature. The ways in which GMOs are planted, cultivated, and harvested are all highly unsustainable and lead to major problems both for the environment and for humans. Americans are now seeing the consequences of GMO adoption in the form of chronic illness epidemics; widespread soil depletion; the emergence of resistant “superbugs” and “superweeds;” and chemical pollution.
“In the end, it’s not a law that’s ‘against’ anything,” says Antonietta Gutierrez, a biologist at National Agrarian University, about Peru’s GMO ban. “This is a law in favor of biosecurity. The idea is that there should be a responsible way of using technology so that it helps us develop resources – and at the same time, doesn’t destroy what we already have.”
At the present time, foods containing GMOs that were cultivated in other countries are still allowed to be sold in Peru. A law passed back in 2011 was intended to require the labeling of GMO-containing food products, however the terms and conditions for such requirements have yet to be set. A recent study conducted by the Peruvian Association of Consumers and Users found that among 13 standard food products tested, roughly 77 percent tested positive for GMOs.
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