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Native Corn Gets Legal Protection, Prevents ‘Intellectual Plundering’

All corn will be labeled to indicate how it was produced

A controversial federal law to promote and protect native corn was approved recently by the Senate, ending the possibility of what one supporter calls the “intellectual plundering” of indigenous communities.

One of the bill’s sponsors, Morena party Senator Ana Lilia Rivera, stated that one of the motives behind the law was “… the debt that [Mexico] still has with indigenous communities since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] in 1994.”

The bill seeks to guarantee the preservation and promotion of native Mexican corn varieties against competition from modern hybrids and genetically modified corn.

All corn produced and sold in Mexico will be labeled to indicate how it was produced. “Native corn” applies to crops created solely by traditional agricultural methods while “Hybrid corn” applies to those grown using more modern agricultural techniques, which have caused concerns related to nutritional value.