Peru is the first country in the Americas to ban genetically modified
foods, putting its food policy closer to that of Europe, than the United
States or many of its South American neighbors.
Even though Peru is the birthplace of the crop, it¹s difficult to find
anything other than hard, pale Roma tomatoes in supermarkets, and
Schiaffino says that worried him.
³They¹re a big monoculture, which is why people usually end up using
[genetically modified organisms] GMOs. Because when you have
monocultures, the crops end up getting diseases, and you have to look
for these extreme ways to fix them,² he says.
Peru was the cradle of the Inca Empire, and today it¹s home to many
crops indigenous to the Americas. It has 400 varieties of potato alone,
and a geography that allows farmers to grow almost anything.
It's also the only country in the Americas to put a 10-year ban on
genetically modified food, with a law that was first introduced in 2011,
and went into effect at the end of last year. Its basic intention, say
Schiaffino and others, is to protect Peru¹s biodiversity, as well as the
practices that have kept it intact for so long.
Remember Rachel Corrie
Click to see the full signature.