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GM corn trials in Mexico get green light
From the article:
NOTE: For what's really happening in Mexico, see the video of the interview with Silvia Ribeiro
and the article, 'Fighting GMO contamination around the world'
GM corn gets green light
Latinamerica Press, 12 March 2009
*Agriculture secretary says genetically-modified varieties of this ubiquitous crop may be used in experiments.
Mexico has revised its biosafety law to reverse a nationwide ban on genetically-modified corn, the country's most important crop and the centerpiece of the Mexican diet, and allow the varieties to be used in experiments.
In a press conference, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, said that the government would fight any illicit planting of genetically-modified corn, of which Mexico is the birthplace.
Elvira Quesada added that the changes to Biosafety and Genetically-Modified Organisms would not prohibit individual states from instating bans on transgenic corn, and under those circumstances, experiments would not be an excuse.
Mexico's agriculture secretary said there are 25 requests to plant experimental transgenic corn in the country.
Genetically-modified corn has been a contentious issue in Mexico, where there are some 200 native varieties of the staple crop.
In February, a study by scientists from the Mexico, the Netherlands and the United States found that genetically-modified corn strains did contaminate native corn varieties in southern Mexico.
The study, led by Elena Alvarez-Buylla of the National Autonomous University in Mexico, backed findings a contentious 2001 study published in the journal Nature that said the genetically-engineered corn had been detected in some of these varieties, sparking a heated debate over the study´s research methods and findings.
On Feb. 25, Mexico City's government issued a declaration that seeks to protect native corn varieties and promote ecologically-friendly and organic agriculture.
The decision was lauded by Greenpeace Mexico as a sign of commitment to protecting "Mexicans' most important grain." - Latinamerica Press.
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