Anybody planning to sneak genetically modified seeds into Peru should think twice – the country has just launched a historic ban on GMOs. Following a long struggle by the last administration’s environment minister Antonio Brack and several activist groups, current President Ollanta Humala signed a law last year that prohibits the import, production or use of GMO foods for the next ten years. The law went into effect last week, and would-be violators face huge fines.

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As large corporate groups like Monsanto continue to push their GMOs on countries around the world, many activists and lawmakers are pushing back. Including Peru, which initially supported GMO imports following pressure from the private sector keen to boost biofuel production. But for the next ten years, the country is relatively safe thanks to President Humala, whose law decrees fines as high as USD14 million and foods could be seized and destroyed.

The new law is designed to protect Peru’s biodiversity and support local farmers, Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar Vidal said. GMOs threaten the country’s heritage plant species, including several colorful varieties of colorful corn, which are becoming increasingly popular export commodities. Local activists note that the battle is not yet over as an estimated 70% of the food stocks in Peru contain GMOs. Still, this outright denunciation of GMOs is a massive boon for biodiversity, public health and social justice.

Via Peruvian Times

Image of engineered carrot and colorful Indian corn, Shutterstock