Mexico is desperately trying to avoid a bioterrorism takeover by Big GMO, which is insistent upon ushering in genetically modified (GM) maize to replace the dozens of native corn varieties already grown throughout the country. The Mexican Chapter of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal has issued an urgent plea to the Mexican government to once and for all ban all plantings of GM maize in order to avoid catastrophic losses to the “center of origin and diversity of this staple crop.”
Get our news delivered to your inbox every morning. Click here to signup
The ruling, which came after the Tribunal spent three years gathering evidence from more than 1,000 organizations on GMO safety and effectiveness, warns that GM maize threatens to contaminate Mexico’s roughly 60 native corn varieties. More than just a staple crop, corn is a cultural treasure of Mexico, and because there is already a natural diversity of it, corn grows exceptionally well without the need for genetic alterations.
But the biotech overlords aren’t having any of it, as they repeatedly try to thwart national laws to get GM corn into Mexican fields. There has been considerable public resistance against this egregious form of “biocide,” but the Mexican government has yet to issue an official ban. As it currently stands, there is sort of a “people’s moratorium” in place that has left GM corn off the table for now, but this moratorium needs to be reinforced by actual law to prevent future plantings.
In its ruling, the Tribunal urges the Mexican government to “adopt all necessary measures to ensure the conservation of peasant maize as the main food source and as a vital element of the social structure and cohesion.” After all, Mexico’s existing corn supply is currently grown by roughly 3 million independent farmers who plant many diverse varieties, avoiding the pitfalls of monoculture and all the detriments that come with it, including resistant “superweeds” and “superbugs.”
Tribunal declares GMOs the “ultimate weapon against independent food production”
Recognizing that GMOs inherently undermine traditional food production systems, the Tribunal also declared in its indictment that GMOs need to be banned because they are the “ultimate weapons against independent food production… and the corporations that control them.” This is particularly true in regions where agriculture is subsisted by many smaller farms rather than a few larger farms.
Besides this, GM maize isn’t even necessary. It won’t serve any purpose other than to potentially reduce yields, consolidate control into the hands of a few powerful corporations and increase the risk that corn crops will fail. And all this while farmers end up getting locked into contracts with corporations like Monsanto, which will bleed them dry, steal their land and eliminate all biodiversity and food sovereignty.
In 2013, a group of activists and organizations filed a class action lawsuit against the Mexican government to stop it from issuing grow permits for GM maize. The effort put an immediate stop to the permits and all plantings, but the case is currently pending, which means it could be overturned and the plantings will resume, unless an official ban is enacted.
“Fighting transgenic corn is not only a national issue — it affects the very foundations of the world food security,” said Veronica Villa of the ETC Group in Mexico, in clear opposition to the proposed takeover. “These communities and organizations will continue fighting the release of transgenic seeds; the Peoples’ Tribunal has brought the problem to the international attention.”