Mexico Bans GMO Corn, Effective Immediately

Just when you think there’s no winning against the biotech industry, news out of Mexico City shows that all is not lost. After years of deliberation, a Mexico judge has placed an indefinite ban on genetically-engineered corn. Effective immediately, companies like Monsanto and DuPont/Pioneer will no longer be allowed to plant or sell their corn within the country’s borders.

The decision comes nearly two years after Care2 reported that the Mexican government had put Monsanto’s GE corn on hold, citing the need for more tests.

Corn is a staple food crop in Mexico, intricately intertwined with the country’s cuisine, history, and culture. Authorities are concerned that Monsanto’s genetically modified corn will contaminate native species, and could cause both health and environmental issues,” Care2 reported at the time.

Now, it appears that Mexican authorities have finally made their decision. According to Environmental Food and Justice, Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J. of the Twelfth Federal District Court for Civil Matters of Mexico City ruled that the genetically-engineered corn posed ”the risk of imminent harm to the environment.” He also ordered Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), equivalent to the U.S. EPA, to immediately “suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings.”

The ruling means that Monsanto and other biotech companies will be required to halt all activities in the country, giving collective action lawsuits initiated by citizens, farmers, scientists and other concerned parties a chance to work their way through the judicial system.

According to a local press release, Acción Colectiva [Collective Action] aims to achieve absolute federal declaration of the suspension of the introduction of transgenic maize in all its various forms, including experimental and pilot commercial plantings, in Mexico, “which is the birthplace of corn in the world.”

This is a huge victory for the Mexican people, and provides at least temporary protection for the 20,000 varieties of corn grown in Mexico and Central America. The decision comes just days after thousands of people in over 50 countries participated in the global March Against Monsanto.

Image: Lindsay Eyink

264 comments

Pat E.
Aldo Mysek2 years ago

This is great news for Mexico, but all U.S. yellow corn is contaminated & spreading. Monsanto may have recourse through NAFTA. We will never know because of the secretiveness of this tribunal. I haven't enjoyed yellow corn in years because of this insidious aberration. Blue corn appears to be unaffected. If this holds up, we could see the beginning of NAFTA's demise.Can't wait.

Jonathan P.
Jonathan P.2 years ago

It's not even that Bob, and you ought to know it. Because they sure do. But still I worry because of the devastation that's already occured to our southern neighbour.

Bob Abell
Dr. Bob Abell2 years ago

It is nice to see that Mexico lawmakers understand their role in protecting their people and their environment. To bad that the politicians in the U.S. and Canada are so thick in the skull that they just don't get it.

Angie B.
Angelene B.2 years ago

Us Latino's know what's up!

Susan Baker
Susan Baker2 years ago

Well done Mexico. Now it is time the rest of the world sat up and took notice and banned all GM products.

Laura Saxon
.2 years ago

Good for them! Thanks for sharing. Now if the U.S. would only follow in their footsteps.

A F.
A F.2 years ago

Good news, anything to slow it down. :)

Dmitry Nikiforov
Dmitry Nikiforov2 years ago

thanks for sharing