A temporary halt on the planting of GMO corn took place on Thursday, Nov. 22 as it was announced that proposed plantings of the highly controversial genetically modified maize were halted in Mexico.
The news means that the successor’s government of president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto will now handle the issue sometime in the spring of 2013 according to Reuters.
While the news was welcomed by GMO freedom advocates who are fighting to save Mexico from the certain widespread contamination that will occur should GMO seeds be planted in the “birthplace of corn,” the fight still looks like an uphill battle. That’s because Nieto’s support for GMOs is well known according to the Reuters report.
Protests against GMO corn and other GMOs in Mexico have been a consistent scene in the country, and a movement against GMOs has gained traction worldwide, especially in light of the recent French study linking GMO corn to massive tumors in lab animals. GMOs have also been linked to increased allergies, organ damage and more, and bT toxins from crops have been found in the systems of the vast majority of pregnant women in areas where GMOs are commonly grown.
GMO Corn in Mexico: The Major Threat
With 700,000 hectares of GMO corn up for planting in Mexico’s western Sinaloa state, the country’s largest corn producer, and another 350,000 up for planting in the northeast the contamination would likely spread in a hurry.
All of the giants of the GMO industry including Dow, Monsanto and DuPont, have filed petitions looking for approval to begin the plantings.
Proponents of the GMO corn say that higher yields are the result, while opponents say that such claims are overinflated. They also point to side effects such as the development of pesticide-resistant corn rootworms, in addition to “superweeds” that are destroying productivity and leading to the use of even more harsh chemicals in the fields.
Protecting Mexico from the GMO plantings is a top priority for many tens of thousands of activists because of the need to protect Mexico’s impressive corn biodiversity and purity. If the plantings, on six million acres, go through, more than 7,000 years of agricultural work to create the popular and widespread maize could be irreversibly damaged, and it may all be done without adequate long-term testing by an official, impartial body on the many possible health problems GMOs have been linked with.
Corn is one of the world’s three most popular crops, and Mexico is one of its biggest users and producers.
-Nicholas Tomasi is an AP-Award winning journalist who currently runs www.AtlHealthWORKS.com, a website dedicated to organic food, natural health and the GMO-free movement.