Mexico Court Bans GMO Corn

Posted October 23,  2013

A judge in Mexico recently suspended the planting of genetically modified corn in the country, citing a risk of imminent harm to the environment, according to an AgProfessional article available here.

Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, Enrique Martinez y Martinez, told El Economista, that “the agriculture department has always planned to base its decisions regarding the field testing of genetically modified corn based on scientific criteria,” but there would be no more permits. 

Mexico banned the planting of GMO crops in 1998, but the law was modified in 2005 to allow the planting of test plots, by permit only and with some very rigid rules, according to an article by the Poultry Site available here

The judge suspended the field testing permits, which companies like Monsanto, Pioneer, Syngenta, and Dow AgroSciences are specifically involved in requesting, to plan test plots. 

In July, a coalition of over 50 groups and individuals filed a lawsuit to stop field trials of GMO corn in Mexico.  The plaintiffs argued that they have scientific evidence from studies that document the contamination of Mexico’s native corn varieties by GMO corn.

There are about 70 native types of corn in Mexico and some worry that the native corn could become contaminated if GMO corn is planted.  Corn is also the main food staple in Mexico, particularly in the central and southern parts of the country.

For more information on biotechnology, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.