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GM Food Debate in Latin America Pits Economic, Environmental Concerns

LADB Article ID: 80215
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2017-02-17
By: Johanna Marris

The debate over the use of genetically modified (GM) maize in Mexico resurfaced at the end of January, when Mexico City’s First Collegiate Tribunal was due to rule on a 2013 resolution that suspended the cultivation of the crop on Mexican soil. Private corporations seeking to distribute the product within Mexico appealed against the resolution, while social organizations have said that they want to see a trial in the Supreme Court (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, SCJN). The tribunal postponed the ruling on Jan. 26, provoking the launch of a new campaign against the GM crop called No More Abuses of Maize (#NoMásAbusosVsElMaíz). The GM debate has raged over recent years in Latin America, as economic interests and the attractiveness of greater control over agricultural production have fought against environmental, ecological, and health concerns. GM crops, which are developed to be resistant to herbicides and insects and are intended to improve crop yields, were first cultivated commercially in the US in the early 1990s, and according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), are now cultivated on over 100 million hectares in 22 countries.

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