For Mexico, “Without Corn, There Is No Country”
A Mexican federal judge has ruled that the government may not authorize field trials or commerical planting of genetically modified (GM) maize so long as lawsuits filed by citizens, farmers, and civil society groups are continuing in the courts.
The judge granted the injunction in a case filed by Accion Colectiva (Collective Action), an alliance of farmers and democracy advocates. The case argues that the government has allowed field trials* and is rushing to approve commercialization without having conducted the safety and contamination tests and environmental reviews required by Mexican law and the Mexican constitution, Article 27 of which requires protection of genetic biodiversity as a common good.
[*Corporate field trials and "safety tests" never involve food safety or environmental contamination, but are the bare minimum to confirm that animals gain weight and/or that a plant grows and produces a crop. The extent of the safety confirmed is merely that the animal or plant doesn't immediately drop dead.]
Accion Colectiva lauded the ruling as a critical step in their campaign to protect Mexico as “the birthplace of corn”. The lawsuit is part of the broad political campaign, Sin Maiz, No Hay Maiz : “Without Corn, There is No Country”. One of the leaders of the movement, Father Miguel Concha, said that the ruling helps the campaign toward its goal of preserving “the human right to save and use the agrobiodiversity of native landraces from the threats posed by GMO maize.”
This action, like others which seek the necessary abolition of GMOs, focuses on the socioeconomic injustice and impracticality of patents in seeds which are part of the public heritage and property, and the agricultural and environmental destruction wrought by the inevitable contamination of crops and ecosystems wrought by GMOs.
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