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Mar 5, 2010

LAC BioSafety Project Uses IBRD Funds To Study BioSafety & GM Crops in Latin America

PotatoesPhoto: Terra, Peru
On 26 February 2010, the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Biosafety Project presented is work at the National Agrarian University La Molina in Lima, Peru.  These projects are focused on South-South research that studies biosafety issues related to gene-modified (GM) crops. 

LAC Biosafety's work is conducted with support from $US 5 million grant from the Global Environment Fund (GEF) that is administered by the World Bank.  Work began on the LAC Biosafety Project in 2008 and its focus has been on research in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru.  The project's overall mission is to develop scientific methodolgical tools that can provide clarity in biosafety debates regarding adherence and implementation of the Cartegana Protocol.

In Peru, LAC Biosafety's work is sponsored by International Center for Tropical Agriculture-CIAT (Cali, Colombia). Research is being conducted at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in collaboration with the National Institute for Agrarian Innovation (INIA) and the International Potato Center (CIP).

Peru's government has taken the position that GM crops have the capacity to "destroy our biodiversity."  The main reason for this stance is that Peru is the center of origin for many different kinds of potatoes.

LAC BioSafety's Peruvian project coordinator, Enrique Fernández-Northcote notes that the project's research focuses on not only potatoes but also corn and cotton.  It is investigating gene flow from hybrid, native (heirloom), and GE crops.  The end goal is to better understand if and how co-existence is possible.  If it is not possible due to contamination, then the goal is to better understand how to protect heirlooms in a "center for origin."

For more see:

"SDFDFBanco Mundial fortalecerá bioseguridad en el Perú," Expreso (Peru), 5 March 2010.

"Banco Mundial financia proyectos regionales para fortalecer capacidades en bioseguridad," Terra, Peru, 2010."

Banco Mundial financia proyectos regionales para fortalecer capacidades para la toma de decisiones sobre bioseguridad," Press Release, LAC-BioSafety, Perubiotec.org, Peru, 26 Feb. 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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