For thousands of years, maize (corn) has been an essential food for the people of Mexico; it also plays an integral part in their culture and religion. Unfortunately, in recent years the maize has been tainted by GE varieties entering the country and being planted by unaware farmers. As a result, normally GE-free maize is showing signs of genetic contamination. In a small village called Cuanajo in the state of Michoacan. A celebration was held to honour the regions GE free status. The festival was a cultural experience, each type of maize has a purpose. Maize for tortillas, tamales, atoles, pozole, animal feed and also to create handcrafts which they sell in market stalls. Protecting this precious diversity is paramount for the people, regional government, scientists and environmental groups who have all worked together to cement the region as GE free. Other surrounding regions are also interested in following this example to create their own GE free zones.
[caption id="attachment_21063" align="alignright" width="600"] GMO-free corn in Mexico[/caption]
A federal judge recently issued a suspension on planting any new genetically modified corn in Mexico, the birthplace of corn.
Although there has been a moratorium on planting GMO corn since 1998, the Mexican government has recently allowed it. The judge cited imminent environmental risks for his recent ruling to suspend it.
GMO corn imports to the United States will continue, however.