Health minister backs modified seed moratorium

Lawmakers studying a proposal to ban genetically modified crops heard two different views Tuesday.

María Elena López Núñez, the minister of Salud, said she supported a moratorium that would give time to gather more scientific evidence that would address the use of pesticides and their use in relation to animal and human health.

She spoke to the Comisión de Asuntos Agropecuarios y Recursos Naturales. She suggested a moratorium of from three to five years, similar to what the agricultural minister, Luis Felipe Arauz Cavallini. suggested last week. Some members of the committee appeared to share her opinion.

Also appearing before the same committee was  Walter Quirós Ortega, of the Oficina de Semillas of the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería. He said a moratorium was not needed because a system already is in place to evaluate each request to plant crops case by case.

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