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Peru to Begin Labeling GM Foods

Peru’s unicameral Congress has apparently made a deal.

A new Peruvian consumer code will require that food labels disclose both organic and genetically modified ingredients.  At the same time, a system of technical and scientific evaluations is being set up to allow for entry of genetically modified or transgenic seeds into Latin America’s fifth most populous country.

The Republic of Peru, with a population approaching 30 million, produces diversified agricultural products including: asparagus, coffee, cocoa, cotton sugarcane, rice, potatoes, corn, plantains, grapes, oranges, pineapples, guavas, bananas, apples, lemons, pears, coca, tomatoes, mangoes, barley, medicinal plants, palm oil, marigolds, onions, wheat, dry beans, poultry, beef, dairy products, fish, and guinea pigs.

However, Peru’s agricultural sector has not topped 10 percent of the country’s gross national product.

Transgenic seeds are showing up in Peru ahead of the government’s new Rule of Agricultural Biosafety, which is supposed to place stipulations on the handling of GM seeds.

Corn and soy transgenic seeds are being used in both mountain and jungle regions of Peru.

The new Consumer Code is being viewed as giving Peruvians the constitutional right to know whether a product does or does not contain GM ingredients.  The Peruvian Association of Consumers and Users supported the new law.

Peru’s National Society of Industries plans to implement the new bill in compliance with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization’s Codex Alimentarius.

The last time Peru came up in GM news was when the International Service for Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a nonprofit group monitoring GM crops, reported earlier this year than GM crops are now being planted in 25 countries around the world.

The ISAAA noted all those GM plantings covered an area “the size of Peru.”

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