Planting of GMO Corn Banned in Mexico, Birthplace of Modern-Day Maize--YAY!

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Flickr user Jster91
Sorry I'm a bit late to this news, but it's been a rough month for us Mexicans, what with news that tequila is doomed, with our soccer team's horrific underachievement on its crawl toward the World's Cup, and the general madness that is Latino Heritage Month.

But finally, some great news: a federal judge in Mexico has issued an injunction banning the planting of genetically modified corn. HELL YA!

You're going to have to know the habla to read the best account of how this momentous decision arose (via the fabulous newsweekly, Proceso), but the decision came after years of lobbying by activists who noted that Mexico--the birthplace of modern-day maize and its cultivation--knows a little bit about how to create various disease-resistant strains of corn, given Mexicans in one form of tribe or another, have been doing it for millennia.

The ruling has understandably caused joy across Mexico and the anti-GMO world, but it's also not as far-reaching as you would think. The judge in question didn't ban the import of GMO corn into Mexico--and in this globalized society, Mexicans are just as likely to eat corn from Minnesota as they are elote from Puebla. And, Mexico being Mexico, you can fully expect Monsanto and other multinationals to magically have their will be done, and government officials magically have a shinier watch than before...but in the meanwhile, let's all celebrate with some huitlacoche and esquites, in honor of corn!

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55 comments
Kate  Senatskaya
Kate Senatskaya

GMOs are not as horrible as silly morons from press want you to think. I am a biologist, and I can say that people who think that "all GMOs are apriori dangerous" cannot really prove that, and when they try, they just show how awfully they know biology.

MJ Patiño
MJ Patiño

Very true Jose. But lets consider that 90% of the country is science illiterate and the fact that most people have no idea that ALL domesticated foods were genetically modified by ancient peoples over 10,000 years ago. Many people are disconnected from this agrarian history cause most of their food is bought as a supermarket. They have no idea of the history and the process of domestication. Screwed up American Education System......

MJ Patiño
MJ Patiño

Ha! We still fly in planes made by companies such as Lockeed Martin, makers of unmanned drones who have killed thousands. Last I checked you can't buy Agent Orange but you can still buy a ticket on a Lockeed plane.

MJ Patiño
MJ Patiño

To late, I'll take Round Up over the heavy arsenic used before....

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

That corn friggin' gives me the creeps. I think it's the cob. It looks like red flesh, and thus the corn looks like an open wound. *shudder of discomfort*

lonhall
lonhall

Nice to know I can have a non-GMO elote before getting snuffed by some drug gangstah! (So glad my years living in Mexico were back when it was actually a safe place) BTW, maize is puro GMO pero en el sentido that it is genetically-modified, but through natural processes of cross-pollinating grain with larger kernels. Some of our best foods arose from "genetic modification" or what would more accurately be described as human intervention in the natural process of natural selection. 

Tom Slick Pearson
Tom Slick Pearson

The bad news is: Pollinating insects have already spread GMO pollen south of the border, and it already has been proven to be spreading. Enjoy what's left of the non-gmo crops now....In a few years, it will all be the same.

Kevin J Cruz
Kevin J Cruz

Mexicans beat us in foreign labor! =D =D =D

Rj St Thomas
Rj St Thomas

Funny these countries that the average American looks down upon has far more common sense than they think!

Alex Cassidy
Alex Cassidy

And as we all know, Mexico is notoriously effective at keeping a lid on banned substances.

Jose Bermudez
Jose Bermudez

My question is why EVERYBODY thinks Monsanto= ALL GMOs? They're not all the same. It's unfair to make Monsanto the face for ALL GM foods and research. I see this almost like stem cell research, all the myths and outrage and controversy without enough facts. Yes, so e GMOs are shady but the science and work behind GMOs are not this evil plot to kill us off with mutations , etc. There aren't even any good peer reviewed studies in any medical journals measuring harmful effects to anyone's health. Too many conclusions being made and lots of knee jerk reactions with nothing more an third hand accounts and anecdotal evidence.

Patricia Urtuzuastegui
Patricia Urtuzuastegui

I remember shucking corn and finding missing kernals and worms. Welcome home, ecos

bernie.mooney
bernie.mooney

Now that's rich. You cant grow it but you can still import it. Why? Because the historical varieties of maize don't  yield enough so Mexico the birthplace of modern day maize has to import it. 

Veronica Malvaez Isaac
Veronica Malvaez Isaac

All I know is, why are we letting a company that created AGENT ORANGE (look it up kids) create SEEDS for fruits and vegetables?!?! That's like letting Hitler babysit Jewish kids 20 years after the Holocaust!

Veronica Malvaez Isaac
Veronica Malvaez Isaac

There's a difference between cross-breeding naturally and what Monsanto does. They create seeds with PESTICIDES built into it! Not the same as crossing two different species of fruit/veggies.

MJ Patiño
MJ Patiño

Good logic Jose. Most people go with emotions or bandwagon fallacy without research the evidence.

MJ Patiño
MJ Patiño

Jerry you can disagree-but facts are facts. Show me one death certificate that says this person died from eating a GMO or a GE? People make claims yet do not support it with facts..facts can be verified, opinions and beliefs cannot

Jerry Vazquez
Jerry Vazquez

Disagree gmoing mice to grow tumors from gmo fed corn causes extinction! The ignorance to ignore mice with tumors and all the children now days with dislexia, a.d.d, and being mentally retarded is the biggest ignorance.

MJ Patiño
MJ Patiño

If you understand the science behind genetic engineering you wouldn't be celebrating. Domesticated crops are genetically uniform and uniformity doesn't do well when it comes to evolution. Pest and disease causing organisms evolve but domesticated plants do not. See the problem? Considering that our ancestors [assuming your from mesoamerica] genetically changed teosinte into maize.....GMOing has been happening way before the protesters started to paint their signs. Ignorance causes extinction

gorditaheaven
gorditaheaven

Speaking of corn. Don't want tacos for your event? We cater delicious Gorditas made with real masa, no maseca here. Homestyle braises using dried chiles imported weekly from Mexico. We don't use local chiles that have been sitting in store shelves for months and have lost flavor. Please email us at gorditaheaven@gmail.com

Veronica Monteleone
Veronica Monteleone

Monsanto is pure evil. I wrote a paper last year when I was in college. I can understand the idea of being able to try to feed the world but it's quite creepy to know that Monsanto can splice a fish gene into a tomato to prevent it from freezing. Scary!

Jose Bermudez
Jose Bermudez

My argument is that GMOs in and of themselves are not bad things. The science is good. Many GMOs are being used strictly for greed (non -germinating crops, etc) but there are also GMOs with potential for good. In the Philippines there is a new GM rice that has been modified with beta-carotene for poor with with that deficiency. We can argue about the natural and organic wonder of food which is all good if we have the food and can afford it. Instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater I think we need a lot more research on it all.

Jose Bermudez
Jose Bermudez

Diana, the thing about Monsanto being able to sue farmers if their seed ended up in crops due to pollen drift isn't true. It was debunked on NPR. Monsanto sued a Canola farmer who used the roundup resistant seed deliberately. 95% of his crop used the patented seed. I don't support Monsanto but I do support more research on GMOs. I think the two sides of the argument have ramped up hyperbole on GMOs in general.

Maredith Goodin
Maredith Goodin

Yay! Let's not ruin the treasure trove of maize species (and its wild ancestor teosinte, which it can crossbreed with) that Mexico has cultivated throughout the millennia

John Juan Adams
John Juan Adams

The gringo loves esquites--elote loco en una taza :-) dee~LISH.

Diana Perea
Diana Perea

Pollen drift, when attributed to GMO corn and the wind carries it to your field Monsanto sues you for possessing their patented version of a seed.

Meghan Uruburu
Meghan Uruburu

GMOs aren't coming close to ending world hunger, and are creating pests that are resilient to any kind of pesticide....so go Mexico! Hopefully we can ban this shit from the planet

Jose Bermudez
Jose Bermudez

Im not for banning all GMOs , but I support labelling GMOS as such in grocery stores.

Ask a Mexican
Ask a Mexican

Ah, but that was good ol' Mother Nature, not Frankenfoods—catch the difference?

Marvelous Swf Mitchell
Marvelous Swf Mitchell

Interesting. I'm pretty sure that corn as we know it is already a GMO. The pieces of "Maize" from way back when were no where near as big as they are today. THAT'S BECAUSE CORN WAS GENETICALLY ALTERED A LONG TIME AGO. That's why this ban is kind of funny. Seems like it's Banning a GMO version of a GMO.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@Ask a Mexican I agree. There is a huge difference between selectively breeding/growing plants to foster superior quality and splicing their DNA with other species!

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