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Overview of genetically modified crops and their relevance for Nicaragua

Author(s): Marisser H. Álvarez-Guevara | Luvianca G. Gil-Moreno | Julio A. Gó - mez-Rodríguez | Jorge A. Huete-Pérez

Journal: Encuentro
ISSN 0424-9674

Issue: 93;
Start page: 01;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: biosafety | GMO detection | regulation.

The first transgenic plants were created in Europe about three decades ago. In Nicaragua, however, there is not commercial cultivation of transgenic crops allowed yet, and the only history of transgenic grain imports occurred in 2005, when the introduction of 15 events of GM maize was first authorized. The Law on Prevention of Risks from Living Modified Organisms by Means of Molecular Biotechnology was published in 2010, and more recently, in September 2012, the Law on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity came into force. In line with the resulting requirements from these laws, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAGFOR) currently works in coordination with the Molecular Biology Center at the University of Central America to ensure that grains imported in the country correspond to events legally authorized. This article begins by presenting an overview of transgenic crops (GMO), their history and their implications for the economy and human health. Next, we describe the current status of GMO in Nicaragua. We conclude that MAGFOR has been successful in fulfilling the law in regards to sampling of imports related to the introduction of GMO grains. It is recommended, however, that for better monitoring of compliance with these laws, it will be necessary to establish a systematic monitoring plan nationwide, aimed at the appropriate screening and detection of transgenic material both in crop seeds as well as in imported grains.
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