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Genetically modified food: GMO backlash in Latin America

Posted: January 4, 2013 |   Comments

Are genetically modified crops "Franken-foods" or the answer to global hunger and climate change? That is the dilemma dividing Latin America, where vast quantities of GM crops are grown. Ecuador's constitution actually prohibits them and Peru recently voted for a 10-year moratorium.

Outside the US, no region has a greater expanse of agricultural land sown with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) than South America.

Together, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have roughly 120 million acres of GM crops, principally soybean, but also significant amounts of corn.

Advocates say they increase yields, allowing the world to feed a growing population, and will even help farmers adapt to climate change.

But critics have long warned of the dangers, both to the environment and human health, as well as the way so-called GMOs can make farmers dependent on the corporations that provide the seeds and complementary products.

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