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Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar Vidal announced yesterday that the government has approved a new regulation that imposes a moratorium on the production and entry of genetically-modified organisms, also known as transgenics, into the country for the next ten years.
Details of the moratorium will print in the Peruvian state newspaper this Thursday. Vidal called the measure a “demonstration of the government’s commitment to preserve the biodiversity of native crops”.
Genetically-modified organisms, or “living modified organisms”, are defined by the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety as “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”.
“The existing law and now this regulation establish a moratorium of ten years, and this means that we must use this period to efficiently and effectively strengthen our own capacity and our scientific capacity in biotechnological processes regarding our natural resources”, Vidal said.
The approved regulation also defines infractions, and will establish sanctions for those who attempt to bring transgenics into Peruvian territory. Offenses will be classified as ‘minor’, ‘serious’, or ‘very serious’, and will be subject to fines, temporary or indefinite seizure of the transgenic products, and in some cases destruction of the products.
The regulation provides for the construction of guidelines regarding issues of biodiversity in Peru and for the accreditation of laboratories for determining whether or not products contain any genetically-modified material.
President of the Council of Ministers Juan Jiménez Mayor stated “this confirms the importance this government attaches to biological diversity, to native crops and to the campesinos of Peru”.