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Peru Bans Monsanto and GMOs

Peru Bans GMOs Monsanto

The first time I ever tasted a real tomato, I was in Cusco, Peru. I had picked them up at a Farmer’s Market, bought them from an old lady with wizened wrinkles and sun-browned skin. She’d carried a basket of them to market on foot from her scrap of land somewhere far down the mountain. It was a revelation — heaven and sunlight on my tongue! I never knew tomatoes could pack such flavor.

I fell in love with the country and it’s people, the Quechua indians who are the remnants of the once proud Incas.

Thanks to the indomitable spirit of that people, a ten-year ban on GMOs takes effect this week in Peru!

Stephanie Whiteside reports,
Peru’s ban on GMO foods prohibits the import, production and use of genetically modified foods. The law is aimed at safeguarding the country’s agricultural diversity and preventing cross-pollination with non-GMO crops. It will also help protect Peruvian exports of organic products.

The victory is a long time coming.

The decree banning GMO foods was drafted in 2008. It not only bans GMO crops like Monsanto’s BT-Corn, but also expands on a prior law that required all foods on supermarket shelves that contain GMOs to be labeled. Those GMO containing foods will now be completely banned. After being subjected to public discussion, being amended, and finally passed in the Peruvian congress in April of 2011, the ban is finally going into effect this week.

A study done in April of 2011 by the Peruvian Association of Consumers and Users (ASPEC) tested 13 products purchased in major supermarkets and shops in Lima, Peru. Unsurprisingly, 10 out of 13 tested positive for containing GMOs.

President of ASPEC, Crisólogo Cáceres, comments,

Research by ASPEC confirms something that Peruvians knew all along: GM foods are on the shelves of our markets and wineries, and consumers buy them and take them into their homes to eat without knowing it. Nobody tells us, no one says anything, which involves a clear violation of our right to information.

Protecting Bio-diversity

Peru Farmers Protest GMOs

One of the biggest fears Peruvian farmers have regarding GMOs is the loss of biodiversity. In the scene above, Peruvian farmers in ponchos and chullos chanted outside of the Municipality of Lima. They represented the Parque de la Papa in Cusco, a farming community of 6,000 people who worry that the introduction of GMOs can and will compromise many of the famous native Peruvian species including purple corn, giant white corn, and the potato.

Alejandro Argumedo of the ANDES Association in Cusco says he worries about the physiological effects the introduction of GMOs would have on Peru’s native species. He says Peru has one of the top 10 biodiversities in the world, and it needs to be protected. To combat the crop diseases that Peruvian farmers suffer, he looks to diversification instead of GM seeds.

The people of Parque de la Papa cultivate a variety of potatoes in small plots. By doing so the farmers say they mitigate crop diseases that attack large plantations and secure the survival of varieties that are more resistant to disease or bad weather.

Why 10 years?

Peruvian scientists believe that the research regarding the safety and effects on GMOs is still in its infancy. They hope that the moratorium will “create the research infrastructure it needs to make better decisions about transgenic crops.” (source)

Alejandro Argumedo summarizes it this way:

Peru Protects Biodiversity Against GMO Threat

Want to know more about GMOs?

seeds of deceptionBegin by reading Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith.

This meticulously documented exposé reveals what the biotech industry doesn’t want you to know — how industry manipulation and political collusion, not sound science, allow dangerous genetically engineered food into your daily diet. Company research is rigged, alarming evidence of health dangers is covered up, and intense political pressure applied.

You’ll read the actual internal memos by FDA scientists warning of toxins, allergies, and new diseases—all ignored by their superiors, including a former attorney for Monsanto. You’ll learn why the FDA withheld information from Congress after a genetically modified supplement killed nearly a hundred people and disabled thousands.

Click here to snag a copy of the book, or to read more reviews.

(photos by Elie Gardener)

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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101 Responses to Peru Bans Monsanto and GMOs
  1. Monica
    December 3, 2012 | 3:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! Awesome!

  2. Julie Kay
    December 3, 2012 | 7:46 pm

    Excellent piece! I would love your permission to reblog this on my GMO specific blog.

  3. Sarah W
    December 3, 2012 | 8:38 pm

    this is wonderful information. I am homeschooling my kids. This will be apart of their “life skills’ and health curriculum. Ca is a big disappointment in this area. Hopefully other countries will point the way.

    • Sirgo
      April 14, 2013 | 1:18 am

      Maybe you should learn to spell before homeschooling your children. ‘A part’ is very different to ‘apart’…

      • Lisa Sellers
        April 14, 2013 | 8:23 am

        Maybe you should learn to recognize a typo and stop nitpicking!

  4. Jen Miller
    December 3, 2012 | 11:34 pm

    This article is full of hope for America! Although it was a long battle, the voice of the people in Peru won. The voice of the people in America can be just as strong and powerful if enough people are educated and take a stand. I’m encouraged greatly. :)

  5. Rhonda Rogalski
    December 4, 2012 | 1:21 am

    Excellent! I am so glad to know the reduction of GM foods has begun. It may not be the US, but Peru’s action has given me hope that the US won’t be far behind. Keep the conversations going everyone so we can be next.

  6. Cecilia
    December 4, 2012 | 8:46 am

    I’m new to your site but I loved it since I found it. I’m from Cusco Peru and I am glad you are bringing this news out. The law is not perfect yet it is better than nothing. It was definitely succesful thanks to the popular chef Gaston Acurio. Peru has a tradition for food and cuisine and chefs have better sense than economist and lawyers about food and the environment. I just hope that Americans do some thing in the next 10 years so that the gm moratorium imposed in Peru now becomes permanent in the future.

    Thanks for sharing and all you do by blogging.


    • IC
      December 4, 2012 | 4:51 pm

      That is an awesome example.
      I can’t understand how so many Americans trust scientists when it comes to food.
      Food is as much an art as a science. I would listen to chefs and farmers over scientists any day.

      • Julie M.
        April 13, 2013 | 11:45 pm

        It is really sad that science has betrayed us. So much “research” now is basically tobacco science, funded by corporations with methodologies designed to generate a predictable result — more $$$ for the company that funded the research.

        Any time a decent study comes out about a dangerous product, the company hires shills to spit out some dubious piece of research that states the opposite to mitigate the liability of the company or to further their PR campaign for dangerous products that don’t even meet the common sense sniff test.

        I wish we could believe in science again!

        • Crom
          April 14, 2013 | 8:49 am

          Science is not the problem, corporate influence on government and love of the almighty dollar is what has allowed this company and others like it to gain the power and influence they have.

          A vast majority of scientists only want to explore, learn, and better mankind. Monsanto just wants to control the worlds food markets so they can get everyone’s money.

          don’t blame the scientists, blame the people who use science to better themselves and no one else.

  7. Scott
    December 4, 2012 | 10:14 am

    Peru is clearly ahead of the curve when it comes to widespread knowledge about the (potential) long-term impact of GMOs. Kudos to them.

  8. Saeriu
    December 4, 2012 | 4:07 pm

    Go Peru!

  9. Stas
    December 5, 2012 | 9:00 am

    Wow!! So good Peru!! I wish Colombia would follow too and ban all GMO !!

  10. Rosario O
    December 10, 2012 | 6:59 am

    These Peruvian women are awesome! Peruvian farmers have respect for the land and understand the dangers of GMO foods. We can learn a lot from them. Go Peru!!

  11. Patricia
    January 22, 2013 | 1:38 pm

    I’m Peruvian and just read this news today on a local paper:

    Many of us Peruvians didn’t know until now that this company was operating here. The government doesn’t do a single thing to fight this evil company.

  12. Laura
    February 7, 2013 | 12:40 pm

    Et pour les francophones:
    And for French-speaking readers:

  13. Emily
    March 25, 2013 | 4:58 pm

    Um… we don’t use the word “remnants” to describe human beings. How disrespectful.

    • William
      April 13, 2013 | 9:48 pm

      Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

      1b. a small surviving group — often used in plural

    • James Tothe
      April 13, 2013 | 10:38 pm

      Are you kidding?

      There are entire books written by anthropologists titled similarly, one which discusses the fall of the ‘neanderthal’ is actually titled ‘The last remnants’.

      Take your privilege to-go thanks.

  14. dan
    April 10, 2013 | 2:34 am

    Wow 10 out of 13 products tested positive for GMO’s that’s high. I would very much like to know for about that report as I live in Lima Peru and regularly purchase from supermarkets. Anybody have a source? I know it’s been banned but with Peru’s corrupt system you can never be too safe.

  15. mik
    April 13, 2013 | 8:07 pm

    An entire article and they can’t take one sentence to define GMO or tell what monsanto is, great reporting.

    • Sally Boydstun
      April 13, 2013 | 9:37 pm

      Google is your friend. :)

    • Terri B
      April 13, 2013 | 10:42 pm

      This article is a blog article – not a news report. And this blog is well researched. Regular readers of The Food Renegade understand what GMO’s are – that’s part of why we are regular readers. As the other commenter pointed out, if you are online reading the article, you can use any number of web search engines to research things that you may not understand.

    • Lauren
      April 14, 2013 | 1:39 am

      Have you been living under a rock. This article was for those who have knowledge on what GMO genetically modified organisms arw, amd Monsanto, the company which produces them and makes a huge profit off of. Don’t be a baby, if you didn’t get your answet here, than use a search engine to help answer your questions.

  16. Steve
    April 13, 2013 | 8:10 pm

    GMO’s aren’t bad for you. Eating DNA isn’t bad for you. You do it every time you eat a piece of fruit/meat/etc. If the DNA is modified, it doesn’t matter, cause it has ZERO impact on your physiology. The only thing that can be substantiated is the use of DNA coding for antibiotics. This kind of DNA won’t be found in your food because researchers have found a way around the use of antibiotics, like functional complementation, etc.
    GMOs have saved millions of lives. The evidence is there, but no one cares to look because it’s now popular to hate GMOs.

    • Rhonda
      April 13, 2013 | 8:41 pm

      Steve you’re clearly a few bricks short of a load. “GMO’s aren’t bad for you” pfffffft you must work for Monsanto

      • Kris
        April 13, 2013 | 9:04 pm

        You are wrong. Find me a legit scientific study that says otherwise. You are uneducated, and listening to scaremongering.

        • Susan
          April 13, 2013 | 9:34 pm

          Nobody is Pro-GMO unless they are making money on it. Its just a ludicrous concept. Thats like being Pro-smoking.

          • BAReFOOt
            April 13, 2013 | 9:53 pm

            Or pro-forcing-rape-victims-to-keep-the-children. But this is the USA we’re talking about. They are a clinically certified insane nation. There are actual highly-respected studies showing that.

            • Terri B
              April 13, 2013 | 10:44 pm

              There ARE plenty of people in the USA who are quite sane, and standing up for things we believe in. I’m unclear, however, as to what “side” you are taking, BAReFOOt. Are you saying there are studies showing that GMO’s are good or bad?

        • Gdaiva
          April 13, 2013 | 9:57 pm

          Yes, maybe I’m “uneducated vocal minority”, but i have a common sense, that they didn’t teach you in your “high education” to know the difference between real food and monsanto made.
          So, are Peruvians!! God bless them!!

        • tia
          April 13, 2013 | 10:42 pm

          Kris, there are people from all walks of life, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, and everything in between that avoid gmos like the plague. Being educated does not equal intelligence, as your comment clearly shows.
          Find me a legit scientific study, that is not tied to monsatans profits, that says gmos are safe and then we will talk.

          • Chris
            April 14, 2013 | 2:40 pm

            Why is the burden of proof on GM-foods to show that they’re safe? We have no reason to believe otherwise.

            If they’re clearly dangerous, as you seem to think, it should on the other hand be extremely easy to find a study that shows the effects of them… right?

        • James Tothe
          April 13, 2013 | 10:44 pm

          I don’t work for any GMO companies or otherwise.

          But Susan, Rhonda and BAReFOOt’s arguments are entirely flawed and false.

          If you are going to speculate on the outcome of a theory by using emotion, appeals to popularity and red herrings, you do not deserve to express those arguments.

          If anything you could have argued against GMOs by bringing up the ‘Terminator gene’ conflict, cross-pollination libel suits, patenting of individual genes and patterns or any number of other legitimate cases in which multinational GMO companies have done wrong.

          You weaken the stance of anti-GMO by spouting that goddamn nonsense.

    • Hayley
      April 13, 2013 | 8:47 pm

      gmos are carcinogenic and mutagenic

      • Kris
        April 13, 2013 | 9:08 pm

        Im sorry but this is untrue. There is NO proof that gm crops are mutagenic. The original concerns are purely scaremongering with no scientific proof. As Steve said, plants having different DNA can’t change your DNA (which is what carcinogens / mutagens do). You eat this stuff remember? DNA is very fragile, and wouldn’t be able to survive the acid in your stomach. Even if you got gm material directly in your bloodstream, it simply does not possess the vector to get in your cells and do damage. It is simply absurd to think otherwise.

        • Julie M.
          April 13, 2013 | 10:00 pm

          It’s not changing our DNA (that we yet know of). It’s changing the DNA of the microflora in our gut, which is bad enough when it comes to BT-Corn. The research was published in the journal, Nature. Basically, your gut flora can begin to replicate the DNA modification from the GM corn, which is to produce pesticides. You want THAT in your gut?

          Me, neither.

          This article links to the research in Nature.

        • Gdaiva
          April 13, 2013 | 10:02 pm

          Very funny, that mutagenic is not proven. Open your eyes man, go to the grocery store or school, think those 60% of Americans are not mutated?
          “…have eyes, but don’t see, have ears, but don’t hear…”
          I feel sorry for you!

        • Leigh
          April 13, 2013 | 10:36 pm

          I’m sorry, but who are YOU to say that GMOs are safe? Where are the studies to prove it? Show me them, the long-term, 30 year (not 90 day) studies. Are you willing to gamble on your life? My childs life? If not, get off your soapbox. The burden of proof does not lie with us, to prove it is UNSAFE, it lies with Monsanto to prove it is SAFE, of which they have not done.

          • Ron L.
            April 14, 2013 | 1:32 am

            Not commenting one way or another on GMOs, but we all gamble with our lives every day. Most people think it an acceptable risk every time they decide to drive in a car, for example, even though it is a (the?) leading cause of accidental deaths in the US.

            • Leigh
              April 14, 2013 | 10:09 am

              Yes, I believe my life is in the hands of my Creator, but that does not mean I gamble with the odds of not using a seatbelt. No, I use carseats, drive the speed limit, don’t drive on the phone, because those things are proven to increase the risk of death. If people want to decide it is an acceptable risk to consume things that have yet to be proven safe, then that is up to them. The rest of us should have the choice. I am familiar with death and the consequences of lifestyle choices. This isn’t even mentioning what effects it may have on our environment 20 years from now.

    • BAReFOOt
      April 13, 2013 | 9:44 pm

      Uuum, do you know *absolutely /nothing/* about biochemistry? … US “education”, right?

      Aaah, Monsanto propaganda. I’m sorry, US citizens, but like North Korean citizens, you de facto have no free will. You parrot what you are told to parrot. Which is the exact same lies the lobbyists not only told the mass media that imprints your “opinions”, but also the government.
      You live in your own little schizophrenic world, so distant from normal human behavior, they recently hat to invalidate *all* US social studies, because it turned out the USA is “special” and so those stuies cannot be applied to the rest of the world.

      • Terri B
        April 13, 2013 | 10:47 pm

        BAReFOOt, you do know that this blog is written by an American living in the USA, right? Please do not generalize all Americans as being Monsanto zombies, because there are a lot of us who are not. There is no reason to be rude to people who are in support of things you believe in simply because they live somewhere you don’t happen to like.

    • Sally Boydstun
      April 13, 2013 | 9:55 pm

      Steve? Let’s put aside the issue of companies patenting seed so farmers can’t engage in the time honored, sustainable practice of saving seed. Also put aside that GMO crops aren’t as nutritious as their natural cousins, and that the use of roundup ready seed is creating superweeds–superweeds that require stronger and stronger herbicides that are no longer effective… the same way overuse of antibiotics in humans created and fails to kill super-germs. Let’s consider for a minute that roundup ready crops are actually registered as a pesticide. Really. And if they can kills the bugs they are designed to deter, do you really think it’s good for us? The fact is, we don’t know. There are no long term studies. We are a Monsanto science experiment… and they are doing it without our permission. We have the technology to do what was, a few years ago, unimaginable…. and just because we CAN, doesn’t mean we SHOULD. My 2 cents… fwiw.

    • Jordan
      April 13, 2013 | 10:03 pm

      And what happens when the round up pesticides kill off the pollenators such as bees and butterflys?

    • Patty Golden
      April 13, 2013 | 10:28 pm

      Steve, how do you know that GMO’s aren’t bad for you? How do you know that modified DNA has zero impact on the body? What has DNA coding of antibiotics got to do with the widespread use of molecular biology in food crop manipulation? In what realm has GMO technology saved millions of lives? Which millions are you talking about? Yes, there is worldwide alarm about the widespread use of this unexamined technology for which there is zero remedy once unleashed in the food supply.

    • Julia Valdez
      April 13, 2013 | 11:01 pm

      Functional complementation? How does one’s body utilize and digest inorganic material? GMO seed is modified/engineered with inorganic material in order to make it pest resistant, drought resistant and not really food anymore… Not very complementary to our bodies.

  17. Kris
    April 13, 2013 | 9:02 pm

    Guys, I don’t think this is a popular opinion here, but some people need to realise that gm crops can be massively useful, and a good thing! There is no proof that they are harmful. Apart from a blown out of proportion concern about the ‘health impacts’ – there are none, this was scaremongering.

    GM crops are GM for a reason! They allow plants to be made that produce bigger, more nutritious fruit. Plants with a natural resistance to infection. Crops that can survive harsher weather, meaning an unexpected climate shift doesn’t run farmers livelihoods. These GMOs are GM for a reason. It’s not that scientists are trying to poison you or create the tomacco plant from the Simpsons..

    Its about creating a more stable resilient infrastructure to feed our planet. All crops are a primary source of energy that can be utilised in a great number of ways, but a lot of places aren’t suitable for growing them stably. It’s a bit disheartening seeing supermarkets shunning GM crops, just to look good for an uninformed public. In the long run this means less money for farmers with less viable land.
    We should be more concerned about sustainability, and less concerned about the impossibility of your GM cabbage glowing in the dark, or trying to control your thoughts.

    • Susan
      April 13, 2013 | 9:37 pm

      Should we wait for the proof like we did with other toxic substances? I really believe that you should be able to choose GMO for your family, but you shouldn’t be able to choose them for mine. I should have that choice, so labeling laws need to be enacted.

    • Holly Reed
      April 13, 2013 | 9:46 pm

      GM crops of corn exhibited the greatest reduction in production in last year’s drought. What was their answer? “Just approve some drought resistant GMO corn” Seems like a silly idea when there are plenty of drought tolerant varieties of corn that fared better last year. Monocrops are not the answer, biodiversity is. Since GMOs were introduced, biodiversity among GMO crops has plummeted with the promise of increased crop yields…which hasn’t panned out. Look at the history of this planet, which biodiversity was reduced due to man-made event or natural disaster extinction followed. Hunger in the world is not due to a lack of food, it’s due to social barriers like poverty that keep the food from the people. If these companies were so philanthropical, they wouldn’t be profiting off these seeds and the poisons that are sprayed on them. They aren’t a charity trying to feed the world; they are a business, trying to make money. They are pushing a product that people don’t want. I don’t know about you, but I believe in a free market system. If people don’t want the product, the business should sell what the people do want, not try to make them buy their failed product anyway.

      • The Smart Man
        April 14, 2013 | 5:20 am

        People… STOP! We keep on bantering on GMOs but in fact GMOs are the most tested foods in the US. You hear GMO and cringe because of uneducated propaganda, but please understand what they are before jumping to conclusions. Crops that are GM are essentially the same crop. Instead they add one more gene to the massive dna structure. While it can decrease biodiversity, it is basically the same thing as cross pollinating a plant in a much shorter time. In fact we could not normally add certain genes to the crop’s gene pool, but with GM we can. Also adding the one gene to the pool can allow a broken crop to survive.

        In Hawaii, the papaya was hit with a massive virus that were destroying their crops at a very high rate. They sent the crops to Cornell (#2 in bioengineering behind Texas A&M) and they spliced a gene from another plant that was resistant to the virus and put it into papayas. This worked and saved the papaya industry.

        I work with one of the top geneticists (not from Monsanto, he works for the University of Hawaii (a huge research school)) and he has assured me that GM crops are 100% safe. Don’t give me the BS of wanting a 30 year study. What they are doing is what we have been doing for thousands of years in a much shorter time.

    • Jordan
      April 13, 2013 | 10:07 pm

      And what happens when the round up pesticides kill off the pollenators such as bees and butterflys?

      • Holly Reed
        April 13, 2013 | 10:26 pm

        Oh that’s simple, then they will just have to make GMO bees!

    • Julie M.
      April 13, 2013 | 10:28 pm

      Kris, there is precious little research about the safety of GM crops on humans and there is at least one study published in the journal Nature that showed GM corn can mutate human gut flora to produce the same toxins that BT corn produces. So there is scientific evidence out there, despite the fact that vital safety research seems to be quashed, as with most things that make big corporations crap loads of money.

      The safety research in favor of the GMOs resembles Tobacco Science — that micro-engineered research that has the outcome designed into the methodology.

      As for the usefulness of the crops, I don’t think 1) demolishing biodiversity in the name of the $$$ is a good idea, 2) that Super Bugs are good, that 3) Super Weeds are useful to anyone, either, or that 4) the fact that Super Weeds mean that we’re actually using MORE pesticides that with traditional crops. Cha-CHING! Monsanto the pesticide maker is quite happy with things just the way they are.

      I would also note that yields are not nearly what Monsanto promised the world when it started spreading its experimental seed. Also, the range of tolerance for the seed is much narrower than expected as well. It does not outperform traditional varieties in many climates.

      GMOs are also part of a massive scheme to reduce biological life forms into crass intellectual property.

      And don’t even get me started about the increase in auto-immune disease, autism, obesity, crazy allergies, and a host of other health problems that have soared just since the introduction into the food supply in the 1990’s.

      Unlabeled GMOs are INDEFENSIBLE, in no uncertain terms. It may one day be considered a crime against humanity.

      You may not agree. Then, go ahead and eat them. But LABEL them, for crying out loud, so the rest of us can glean a cleaner diet from the hostile environment created by Monsanto’s mercenary business practices.

    • Patty Golden
      April 13, 2013 | 10:42 pm

      Kris, You paint the public outcry against GMOs as uninformed. “In the long run this means less money for farmers with less viable land.” Pardon? Isn’t this rather a sweeping,uninformed statement on your part? Yes, sustainability is of paramount concern. GMOs and molecular biology are not necessarily the solution. There are plenty of other safe and healthy alternatives on the table to answer the world’s food and water needs.

    • Amy
      April 14, 2013 | 2:23 am


      Thank you for taking the time to post, and you raise many good points. In fact, I think most reasonable people would agree with you, provided that adequate testing is done to ensure that GMO produce poses no risk to human life and/or the ecosystem-including earth in general. It’s my opinion that most people would like to see considerably more research on the matter.

      You write, “There is no proof that they are harmful. Apart from a blown out of proportion concern about the ‘health impacts’.” Could you share links or references to the information whereby you drew your conclusions? Thank you.

      Concerning your comment, “GM crops are GM for a reason! They allow plants to be made that produce bigger, more nutritious fruit.” Presumably you agree that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean more nutritious. Could you please share links to the research that supports your contention that the fruit is more nutritious? Thank you.

      Lastly, if a plant has been genetically altered, can one accurately say that it is “‘naturally’ disease resistant”?

      I think most reasonable people would be all for ” creating a more stable resilient infrastructure to feed our planet”, provided that it’s done in a manner that is proven safe to human life and to earth and in which preserves each individual’s right to choose between GMO/non-GMO.

      Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to reading the information that you’ve come across on the topic.


  18. Stroginator
    April 13, 2013 | 9:12 pm

    Such ignorance. Many people are going to be worse off now. GMO? You do realize that every single generation of plants has slightly different DNA than the last? That each piece of meat you eat has different DNA?

    It’s called evolution, and it happens every day. The only thing we are doing is more selectively breeding them using new amazing tools. There is not a single case of cancer linked to GM foods for the THOUSANDS OF YEARS we have been doing it through selective breeding.

    What has happened in Peru is a tragedy.

    • Holly Reed
      April 13, 2013 | 9:36 pm

      Selective breeding and GMOs are two separate things. GMOs combine two things that evolution or God (whatever your belief) deemed unwise to allow to breed naturally. There is a reason a fish and a tomato cannot have a baby. I will take the old fashioned way of breeding. Faster does not always mean better. Shortcuts are not always the best way to the finish line.

    • tia
      April 13, 2013 | 9:57 pm

      Ignorance is thinking that gm and selectively breeding are the same thing. Hybrids are selective breeding two of the same species. Gm is genetically modifying an organism using the dna of whatever the scientist feel like crossing them with. Do you actually think that corn can naturally cross polinate with a bacteria in dirt? Or that humans and cows can cross species so that cows produce human breast milk? Does that really sound natural or safe to you?
      Yes like species have been “modifying” since life began on this planet, that is what has given us such a diverse selection. But nowhere in nature do species cross. And that is what gm is, crossing the species barrier with no clue what the outcome will be.

    • Patty Golden
      April 13, 2013 | 11:03 pm

      Stoginator, you are transparent. Obviously there is a vast difference between the natural selection of DNA that passes from one generation to the next in all life forms and the manipulation of DNA by molecular engineering with these ‘amazing new tools’.”There is not a single case of cancer linked to GM foods for the THOUSANDS OF YEARS we have been doing it through selective breeding.” This statement is so absurd I hardly know where to begin. You know very well that you are attempting to liken natural hybridizing with a completely different technology.

  19. adam
    April 13, 2013 | 9:26 pm

    This is great! I wish the whole world would stop trying to improve plant genetics!

    Oh wait…. Populations are rising. We can’t feed the world with the crops that we have, and reducing current yields would literally starve thousands and thousands of people DEAD.

    wake up people. Its a big world out there.

    • Patrick
      April 13, 2013 | 9:37 pm

      Let evolution occur naturally the way God intended it. That’s right, evolution and God in the same sentence. People shouldn’t have to eat food that has been tinkered with.

      • James Tothe
        April 13, 2013 | 10:52 pm

        Evolution the way god intended…serious…rofl

      • Chris
        April 14, 2013 | 2:49 pm

        What if God intended us to develop the capacity to genetically modify foods?

        You shouldn’t have to eat GM-foods if you don’t want to. But I shouldn’t have to pay for your fears- you can pay extra for harder to produce food if you prefer.

    • Susan
      April 13, 2013 | 9:46 pm

      The world doesn’t have a food production or supply problem – we have a DISTRIBUTION problem! Americans throw out and waste over 96 BILLION pounds of food a year. We don’t need salmon that’s had some foreign gene spliced into its DNA to feed us. That’s only being done to benefit companies by growing them faster so they can make more MONEY. The whole drive behind using unnatural gene splicing is for profit – these companies have no “higher purpose” in wanting to feed the poor.

    • tia
      April 13, 2013 | 10:08 pm

      Ask monsatan, oops I mean monsanto, where most of their corn/soy goes and they will tell you it goes to feeding livestock. So you tell me how that is “feeding the world.” How much of that meat goes to hungry people? What isnt fed to cattle gets turned into food additives, how much of that is actualy distributed to hungry people. Do you think that 3rd world countries (the ones americans think of as starving) actually go to grocery stores and buy this crap?

      • jess
        April 13, 2013 | 10:27 pm

        i won’t even buy livestock that eats this crap.

      • adam
        April 14, 2013 | 10:00 am

        Grains are a global commodity. Just like most other commodities, more are consumed in richer countries. ‘Fixing’ distribution is a complete pipedream.

        its all about supply and demand. Since demand will rise with population, so must supply. If you severely cut the supply, prices skyrocket, governments fall, human misery ensues.

        do you really think non-industrialized food production can feed our enormous population? Organic food is great for rich countries who can afford to waste money. But your average person in poverty that spends 95% in his income on food can’t afford that nonsense. You guys probably hate vaccines too.

  20. Deja
    April 13, 2013 | 9:34 pm

    Peruvian people are smarter than Californians.

    California voters rejected GM Foods Labeling Proposition last November. :'(

    • Terri B
      April 13, 2013 | 11:09 pm

      Deja, you can blame that on the money that was poured into “marketing” by the opposition to the GM Foods Labeling Proposition in California. Californians were frightened by the GM proponents who stated that it would significantly increase the cost of food if GM food was required to be labeled. Fighting a large corporation is hard, but people are starting to listen. At least with labeling, all the people here who believe that GM foods are harmless can go and eat their fill of them, while the rest of us can choose real food grown by real farming methods.

  21. maggie
    April 13, 2013 | 9:37 pm

    with a little training we can all Know the science & not need a research report to tell us GMO’s are Bad for Our Bodies. The Answer is simple. We eat food & process protiens/ enymes/ amino’s. Our Gut uses them to process everything thing we need to support our Bodies. When a Protiene has bad stuff in it LIKE Round Up the Body process’s it without discernment! Note this is the SAME information Monsato gives to the Farmer. The bug will eat the crop & process the round up ready protiene & process it without discerment & DIE!

  22. Genevieve F.
    April 13, 2013 | 9:38 pm

    What’s truly a tragedy is the faith that anyone in support of GMOs puts in a mega corporation that’s only interest is profit. It is not natural or evolutionary when a scientist alters a plant’s DNA in a laboratory. A fish and an ear of corn would never “cross-pollinate”. (Yes they do that in the lab). In recent studies NOT funded by Monsanto, the rats fed an “acceptable” amount of GMOs developed huge tumors and were sterile by the third generation. Doesn’t that sound a bit foreboding? This is not “selective breeding”! Inform yourself! This is the work of the same company that brought us Agent Orange and many other now banned pesticides. Monsanto serves organic food in their cafeterias because they don’t want to eat their own GMO food. This is not natural and I fear what ignorance and greed will do to our society. Good for The people of Peru!

  23. Connie Warner
    April 13, 2013 | 9:39 pm

    David Suzuki speaks out against genetically modified food …

    GMO crops, when first introduced, were touted as the answer to world hunger. The argument was that by developing pesticide and herbicide resistant crops, farmer’s would be able to increase their yields and decrease their costs. This has not proven to be the case. Instead, bugs and weeds have become increasingly resistant to the widespread applications of these chemicals, leading to increased use of both. More spraying means more costs for the farmers, more damage to the environment and more health concerns.

    On the flips side, it means more product purchased from the seed producer. The companies that develop and patent GMO seeds are the same companies that develop and patent the pesticides and herbicides to which the unique seeds are resistant. Monsanto is the largest seed company in the world and owns about 86% of GMO seeds sown globally. It is also the parent of Roundup.

    Canada’s foremost environmental scientist speaks out against genetically modified food …

  24. Jeannie
    April 13, 2013 | 9:48 pm

    GMO foods are mutants in themselves. Your taking something that should naturally work and it’s been changed genetically, mutated into something that “supposedly” should work at a job that some crazed scientist thinks it should. However, there has been enough scientific and crop reports put out that show that GM crops DO NOT produce as well as conventional crops and even being in much lower yields. Monsanto says “Gm crops are safe”. Call me stupid if you must but telling me to trust eating GM foods created by Monsanto who also produces/created DDT, Agent orange, dioxins, Aspartame and other nasties is just ridiculous. Monsanto is just using people as human guinea pigs. They don’t eat their own GM experiments and I refuse to let them near my children. They can take their frankenfood disasters elsewhere.

    • Holly Reed
      April 13, 2013 | 9:52 pm

      Exactly Jeannie! Who should I trust: millions of years of fine-tuned evolution, followed by thousands of years of careful agricultural selection based on region(or God in all his omnipotence) or a 35 year old with a master’s degree?

    • Julie M.
      April 13, 2013 | 11:37 pm

      No kidding. Mdm. Marie Curie, who remains the only scientist ever to win Nobel prizes in two different fields of science, DIED because of what she DID NOT know about the materials she was researching. The stuff that earned Nobel prizes for her literally killed her.

      We are only beginning to understand genetics and epi-genetics. Evolutionary change is painstaking, and for a reason. I guess we can hope that the system is self-correcting. But on the other hand, it might be that 10 generations from now, or 10,000, genetic modification might have a few unintended consequences.

      The point is, we DON’T know. And we can’t know. And the people who know the most about it are not busy looking at the long term environmental impact. They’re too busy doing what makes Monsanto the most money. And I can guarantee you, that does not include looking too closely at possible problems.

      Oh, and deadly PCBs, which are a persistent environmental hazard that will be with us forever? Another lovely legacy brought to you by the merchants of death at Monsanto.

  25. Paisley Marks
    April 13, 2013 | 9:50 pm

    I avoid and will not purchase GMO food. We are growing our own food, search for organic and GMO free products,and vote with our food dollars. I applaud these nations, like Peru, not owned by sociopathic corporations, that are banning GMOs. Better safe than sorry. It is the massive amount of pesticides and herbicides like Round Up that cause me the most concern. Also Big Agra suppresses real scientific studies on the dangerous pseudo-food products. First they fund certain lab studies, guaranteed to give them biased good results, or they threaten and discredit ethical scientists, including scientists like Britian’s Arpad Pusztai. There is so much more going on with this than we yet know. Read more at for more information, or here: Be careful what you eat.

  26. Laura
    April 13, 2013 | 9:50 pm

    You know, I’d really prefer NOT to eat corn from a plant that has been genetically modified to manufacture insecticide that causes the stomachs of insects who eat it to EXPLODE! Is it any wonder that we are seeing such an increase in intestinal and auto-immune diseases these days?

    I don’t want them to genetically modify apples so they do not turn brown after slicing. If we genetically modify signs of spoilage out of our food, how will we know when food is old

    Monsanto claims GMO foods are not substantially different from non-GMO foods so no safety testing is needed, yet the seeds they genetically modify are so different that they require a patent?

    Who creates a product and tries to sneak it into the food supply? Just label it already and let the people choose!

  27. Jane
    April 13, 2013 | 9:58 pm

    There is no food shortage. There are more obese people than starving. People starve when food can not be delivered to their area. Mass producing a few super crops WILL starve people though, nutritionally.

  28. Rella
    April 13, 2013 | 10:01 pm

    Kris: GMO crops can be very useful and I am anxious waiting the positive data on this. So far I’ve seen crops that are no more drought tolerant than non-modified, and crops whose pest resistance was defeated by evolution of pests within 2 decades. Our best success story is dwarf wheat (which was irradiated and not gene spliced, so isn’t true “GMO”) and that has led to a four fold increase in celiac disease, per the excellent Mayo Clinic study.

    Stroginator: you seem to be stuck in the 50’s if you think all Monsanto et al. is doing is hybrid vigor plant breeding. Fish genes are not going to implant into tomatoes in the average farmers’ field. And that is before we get into the issue of seed saving.

    Adam: we don’t have a food shortage, we have a food distribution problem. Dig into the data, it’s fascinating and terrifying.

  29. Janetta
    April 13, 2013 | 10:02 pm

    I vote with my food dollars. I support a CSA year round, and avoid gmo products.

    Take that to the bank.

  30. JP
    April 13, 2013 | 10:06 pm

    I am confused. Like so many online articles there seems to be no date. The article says ‘goes into effect this week’ and the comments range from Dec. 2012 – April 2013 (today). Did the ban go into effect Dec. 2012? Thanks for any clarification.

    • Terri B
      April 13, 2013 | 11:11 pm

      The article was written in December 2012.

  31. Gdaiva
    April 13, 2013 | 10:06 pm

    God bless Peruvians!!!

  32. Mary
    April 13, 2013 | 10:10 pm

    This company cares nothing for farmers or hungry people. What about the farmers who have been ruined by Monsanto? What about the seeds that have been manipulated to produce sterile fruits? How does that help a hungry region?

  33. Mark Norris
    April 13, 2013 | 10:18 pm

    Bravo for Peru for getting serious on GMO foods. However, I would be more impressed if Peru seemed to be serious about banning fecal coliform and other toxins from their water. I have travelled extensively in Peru, and it is beyond incredible that there is no potable water other than that in plastic bottles. No sane person in Lima drinks water from the tap, and it only gets worse when you leave the capital. Peru has a way to go to get my admiration until they can provide chlorinated water for their people, and while they are at it, education for their children.

  34. jess
    April 13, 2013 | 10:25 pm

    word janetta! i also vote with my dollars and refuse to bring gmo foods into my home. yeah peru!

  35. Michael Silberman
    April 13, 2013 | 11:21 pm

    I ask that you please take a moment to watch this film I completed in 2009, which focuses on the creation of Monsanto Chemical Works by John Francis Queeny in 1901.

    This piece entitled, “In Our Backyard,” allows you to gain a much broader perspective on Monsanto as a whole. How does the creation of the EPA, and FDA fit into the bigger picture? Does our government persistently go out of its way to protect major polluters, and environmental aggressors? You decide.

    • Jen
      April 14, 2013 | 3:05 am

      Thanks for posting your video!

  36. Vincent
    April 14, 2013 | 2:11 am

    This is horrible. People have so many misconceptions on GMO’s based on what is heard on the news and online. Research hasn’t shown any side effects and its perfectly safe to eat, no harm to us. If you are going to argue with me please reference some articles from pubmed that support the idea that GMO’s are unsafe. I’ll save you some time there aren’t any. Only support for GMOs

  37. maroon
    April 14, 2013 | 2:26 am

    fantastic :)

  38. Carol
    April 14, 2013 | 4:33 am

    GMO does not make food better for the consumer.
    It makes production by big agra- business more
    cost effective by making crops more pest proof
    and tolerant of chemical herbicides and pesticides.

  39. FJK
    April 14, 2013 | 6:20 am

    Hat’s off to Peru. I wish our politicians in the U.S. had the balls to do the same.

  40. Martha
    April 14, 2013 | 6:43 am

    The “feed the world” argument is invalid. The US already through a away enough food to feed the world. The problem is infrastructure. Organic practices beat out GMO’s every time.

  41. Lou
    April 14, 2013 | 7:05 am

    If I buy a tomato in a regular grocery store, I am almost certain it is a GMO tomato. The tomato looks amazing, but the taste is not that great. When I go to my local farmer’s market, the tomato may not look as pretty, but the flavor is out of this world. No matter how many studies have been or have not been done, I prefer quality above quantity. I will always choose the product that has more flavor and that is a non GMO.

  42. Bob DelPino
    April 14, 2013 | 7:24 am

    Great, no GMO food means more locals will starve. In a few years we can move in and take the country over easy:)

  43. John
    April 14, 2013 | 3:54 pm

    This is absolutely wonderful. At least some people in the world are concerned about real health.

    America is a lost nation on so many levels.

  44. Dan
    May 30, 2013 | 4:27 pm

    Guess what people today is May 30th 2013 and I called a Peruvian distributor from Monsanto’s website to validate this ban and it turns out they are still selling GMO corn among other GMO products. This is Bullshit.

  45. DTOM
    August 20, 2013 | 11:29 am

    What a victory! proud to be bron in Peru

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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