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Peruvian scientist wins GMO defamation appeal

The vice-president of the Peruvian biologists’ association has won an appeal against a defamation conviction over a dispute on the presence of genetically modified maize lines in a Peruvian valley, UK magazine Nature reports. Dr Ernesto Bustamente was convicted last April after raising doubts on the research findings from scientist Dr Antonieta Gutierrez that 30% of the maize planted in the valley had consisted of GM herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant lines ( Agrow No 593, p 19). Dr Bustamente had claimed the research lacked scientific peer review. The case has roused international interest over whether free speech was being impaired. A recent study into the maize plantings should shape further trials, Nature adds. Peru does not yet have regulations to control or permit the growing of GM crops. A parliamentary commission has approved a moratorium ( Agrow No 595, p 17).

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