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Crop Biotech Update

Peru Biotec Pronouncement on Defamation Case

March 31, 2010

The Peruvian Association for the Development of Biotechnology (PeruBiotec) has issued a public pronouncement regarding the judicial case in the Peruvian Judiciary of an alleged defamation case filed against scientist and PeruBiotec member Dr. Ernesto Bustamante by Dr. Antonietta Gutierrez of the La Molina National Agricultural University, purporting to demonstrate illegal planting of GM corn in Peru.

PeruBiotec noted that the defamation case is contrary to the Constitution and Penal Code of Peru whose article 133 clearly specifies that criticism of art, science, and literature do not configure cases of defamation. The pronouncement noted that the "free criticism and discussions of scientific methods and results are a common practice among scientists in the world and constitute an essential requirement for the free development of knowledge through the continuous search for truth. It is our responsibility as scientists to defend such freedom."

Nature Biotechnology earlier published an article in a February 2010 issue which expressed the worry of the scientific community that such a juridical precedent would stifle scientific debate.

For the English translation of the original version of the pronouncement in Spanish, email Dr. Alexander Grobman, president of PeruBiotec, at alexander.grobman@gmail.com