Once again, people have raised their voices against transgenic maize, this time during a session of the Permanent People's Tribunal in Oaxaca. Over five hundred people came from various indigenous regions across the country as well as from social and civil society organizations to accuse the Mexican government of responsibility for the transgenic contamination of native maize, in complicity with the transnational seed corporations. The people demanded the government prevent the commercial planting of GM maize in the north of the country.
Mexico remains in red alert following the ambitious attempts of Monsanto and other multinationals to win government approval for the planting of 2.5 million hectares of transgenic corn in the crop’s center of origin. The solicitation calls for planting more than half of these acres with the same type of corn that has been shown to cause cancer in rats. But resistance is also growing stronger day by day—both inside and outside of Mexico, voices are rising in indignation at this outrage against the very heart of our cultures, health, food, biodiversity and nature.
While the scientists the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN, by its initials in French) alert the world about the tumors, hepatorenal damage, premature aging, reproductive system disorders and anomalies recorded in rats fed transgenic maize (Silvia Ribeiro, La Jornada, 6/10/12), Monsanto is rushing to make good on its deal with President Felipe Calderon,to green-light the planting of transgenic maize in Mexico before the end of his term.
The Law on Biosafety and Genetically Modified Organisms Act, popularly known as Monsanto’s Law, was an expression of the lack of political will in Congress to prohibit the planting of transgenic corn in Mexico, despite being the center of the crop’s origin and diversity. A crucial piece of the law was missing, however--the official determination of centers of origin and diversity.