Is Mexico’s Reputation for Fresh Produce at Risk with GMOs?

This week COFEPRIS, Mexico’s regulatory commission for food safety, has approved the sale and consumption of 132 genetically modified products, known as GMOs. Half of the new products are corn, while also including soy, cotton, and other crops.

The COFEPRIS decision heads to the Mexican government for approval before is becomes law. Currently GMO products have been suspended in Mexico under pressure from anti-GMO groups arguing that GMOs represent a danger to the environment, as well as for the biodiversity of native corn.

Currently 70% of foods in the market contain GMOs and more than 80% of crops grown in the United States are grown from genetically altered seeds.

An increasing number of studies connect GMOs to a wide range of health risks and environmental risks, while consumer advocates argue that GMOs are a violation of their consumer rights to know what their products contain.

In layman’s terms, GMOs are processed by isolating certain genes of the product and modifying them for an intended purpose. For example, a vegetable that might not be drought tolerant can be modified to be grown in drier climates, or even modified to hit maturity at an earlier stage.

Supporters of GMO argue that the process is becoming more important in food production as the world population grows and available farm lands decrease, and the industry needs solutions for farming in the changing climate of the future.

Last September Mexico also approved the use of 12 pesticides that are prohibited in many other places in the world due to their health risks.

In Mexico corn yields 38 percent below the world average per acre and the country also uses the highest quantity of pesticides per acre of arable land in North America. Some growers say that GMO corn that is insect-resistant is the solution to more output while using less pesticides in Mexico.

8 Responses
  1. Bad idea. Monsanto has been killing humans since Agent Orange….. ask the 100,000 farmers in India who commited suicide because of Monsanto, if they think it is a good idea

  2. i have feared for the Mexican maize market being undermined by cheap, US corn, with small peasant farmers not being able to compete, even if they are only to make few pesos a day. And with the loss of traditional peasant maize farming will be the loss in the great variety of maize here in Mexico. This means two things, a loss of choice in corn as a consumer and secondly, from an environmental and survivalist point of view, a further loss of biodiversity. This is bad enough not even considering the nature of the new GMO maize from US biotech industry. Enough research has been conducted already to know that the GMO varieties are not good for one´s health. For example, the built in insecticide will attack the human gut and may lead to leaky gut syndrome. This is only one negative outcome out of who knows how many adverse outcomes. Simply, such great changes to the plant genome, something that goes way beyond hybridizaton or any kind of natural selection, need a long evaluation period, perhaps decades to be sure the “product” is safe. Yet, the US government has Ok’d — basicall rubber stamped — the GMOs solely on the say so of the bio tech industry. With mainstays like Monsanto, “The most evil company on earth”. And then as already mentioned there is the question of whether the plant is engineered to be infertile, a diabolical scheme if there ever was one to corner the worlds food supply. My understanding is that Mexico has prohibited the planting of GMO corn. But tragically it has not protected its farmers, nor the Mexican consumer from the very ugly consequences of cheap imported US GMOs.

  3. I am so sorry to hear this! Genetically modified seeds cannot be replanted, so farmers cannot save seed from year to year, meaning they have to buy seeds each year. This is expensive for farmers. Also, genetically modified crops spread to other fields and “contaminate” those native crops. Your native corn will be in danger. The reason plants are genetically modified is so that they can be heavily sprayed with pesticides without killing the plant, they are resistant to the poison. But, we eat the poison! I hope this does not happen in Mexico. So many countries in the world ban GMO’s, so wish Mexico would not allow this.

  4. I don’t think it is a freshness issue. From farm to table does not change with GMOs. There are very few foods that are originally as God planted them, or whatever you believe is the starting source of food. All food has been modified by humans, just like the entire earth has been modified. Food is modified by environment, man made pollution in the air has modified our food by the food naturally adapting to new environment, just as people have adapted over time. Ape to Man. There is no such thing as GMO free, it’s a gimmick. If there was no GMO on some level the world would be without food now. It’s not about a boycott of GMO, it’s about how the science is used and applied. As this story indicates, Mexico uses a lot of pesticides in crops because we all know pests are a problem in the nice warm weather, bugs thrive in Mexico. So the option is GMO for more pest resistant foods or more pesticides, or none at all and let the people starve. This is the case with so much food, not just corn or pest resistant. The growth and production of food is becoming a much larger challenge with population growth and climate change. To eliminate GMO and still be able to feed the population we would need to implement China’s one-child per family laws and enact euthanasia across the globe for population control. It’s just a reality of the world humans have created and turning back time and fixing what we have already broke isn’t even possible, now we need to find ways to deal with our own F-ups.

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