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Mexico Fights To Remain GMO-free in the Face of U.S. Agribusiness Pressure

U.S. non-GMO farmers say they can help meet Mexico’s need for non-GMO corn

Last October, Mexico took a strong stand for biodiversity and sent a stinging rebuke to the multi-billion-dollar biotechnology/pesticide industry. The country’s Supreme Court unanimously denied four appeals that biotech companies had filed against a 2013 judicial decision that prohibited them from planting genetically engineered corn in the country. The ruling means no GMO corn will be planted in Mexico.

In its decision, the court denied all the challenges presented by Bayer-Monsanto, Syngenta, PHI, and Dow, ruling that the companies’ arguments “were hollow, contradictory, and fallacious.”

In a statement, the Demanda Colectiva, an advocacy group that filed the original 2013 lawsuit, said the unanimous decision supports “the collective rights of peasant and indigenous communities and of corn consumers.”

“Maize is the culture of Mexico”

Talk about a door slamming in the face of Big Biotech—and rightly so. Mexico is the center of corn (or maize diversity), and the crop is both sacred and a food staple for the Mexican people. The country has as many as 59 landraces, or locally adapted, traditional varieties of corn. Within those landraces are many varieties of corn, including many colors such as white, red, blue, and yellow.