Bolivia Bans Use and Importation of Genetically Modified Crop Seeds, Plans Investment in Domestic Food Production

Yesterday Bolivian President Evo Morales signed a law which bans the use and importation into Bolivia of seeds of genetically modified crops. According to a press release issued by the office of the Bolivian Vice President, the purpose of the law is to protect Bolivian sovereignty, to guarantee the country’s food security by emphasizing production of organic products, and to protect the environment. The press release quotes Carlos Romero, Minister of Rural Development and Agriculture, as saying that under the law, imported food products derived from genetically modified crops will be required to bear a label disclosing that their transgenic origin. Romero also stated that the government will establish a national biosafety committee consisting of the ministers of environment, rural development, and health, as well as representatives of agricultural producers.

Apart from its provisions regarding genetically modified crops, the new law establishes a strategy to strengthen domestic food crop production by offering credits and crop insurance to small farmers. The government also plans to establish state-owned companies to produce seeds and fertilizer.

Bolivian Congressman Luis Alfaro discussed the new law in a recent interview with TeleSur.

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