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Research concludes that scientific evidence not sufficient to determine safety of GMOs

Washington, DC, June 13, 2011 (PAHO) – The Peruvian Congress has issued a 10-year moratorium on the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the country after careful consideration of the agricultural, environmental, and public health implications of GMOs. This political decision was influenced not only by social mobilization and press releases written by opinion leaders; the Ministry of Health (MINSA) also took position on this issue based on a technical report on GMOs conducted by the National Institute of Health in Peru.

When the Government of Peru issued a Supreme Decree authorizing the introduction of GMOs in April, 2011, a debate sparked surrounding the safety, as well as the economic and environmental impacts, of GMOs. “Renowned scientists postulated the absence of adverse effects associated with their consumption, but other medical groups argued that these foods cause allergies, antibiotic resistance and damage to organs,” said Lely Solari, a member of the Analysis and Generation of Evidence in Public Health research team at the National Institute of Health.

 

 

 

 

 

Upon request of the Peruvian Ministry of Health, the Analysis and Generation of Evidence in Public Health team at the National Institute of Health carried out a systematic review of the available scientific literature on the subject. Although there is no current proof that the consumption of GMOs is harmful to people, they concluded, based on the findings of their review, that there is also insufficient evidence to conclude that the consumption of GMOs is safe and beneficial to people. The Analysis and Generation of Evidence in Public Health team recommended that further studies are needed to evaluate the long-term nutritional safety of GMOs in humans and animals in accordance with international scientific standards.

 

 

 

 

 

As part of the EVIPNet Initiative (Evidence-Informed Policy Network), the Analysis and Generation of Evidence in Public Health team at the National Institute of Health promotes the systematic use of health research evidence in policy-making in Peru.

Analysis and Generation of Evidence in Public Health (UNAGESP), National Center for Public Health, National Institute of Health of Peru

The mission of the National Institute of Health is to generate scientific and technological evidence for the implementation of policies, standards and interventions in health, in this regard the Analysis and Generation of Evidence in Public Health (UNAGESP) was established in 2009 with the aim of evaluating Health Policy based on the best available evidence or, where applicable, to generate such evidence to support the decision-making of health officials at the national, regional and local levels.

UNAGESP performs systematic reviews, economic evaluations and primary evaluation studies on issues of interest in public health. UNAGESP is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of physicians, biologists, librarians, biostatisticians and other partners (economists, etc.).

Visit the UNAGESP Page in Spanish: http://www.ins.gob.pe/portal/jerarquia/4/824/unagesp/jer.824

EVIPNet: Improving Health and Strengthening National Health Research Systems

EVIPNet is a social and collaborative network that promotes the strengthening of health systems by using knowledge translation as a catalyst for the development of health research systems.

Further to developing research capacities, EVIPNet promotes a systems approach for the implementation of relevant research and the integration between policy, practice, and research. It also promotes partnerships between stakeholders, facilitates policy implementation and policy development that is informed by reliable and relevant scientific evidence. EVIPNet builds bridges between research producers and users. The international network and its secretariats (regional and global) monitor and evaluate, and bring efficiencies and coordination among participating country teams, within the Americas, and globally between participating WHO Regions.

For more information about EVIPNet and PAHO’s Policy on Research for Health please visit: www.paho.org/researchportal

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