Reservations of Maize: Centers of Origin and Diversity

04 December 2011

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.

The Maize Protection Act of Tlaxcala: A Trojan Horse

26 April 2011

In the neoliberal era, the majority of laws have been written or modified to eliminate individual and collective rights and further the interests of corporations. Such is the case in the reform of Article 27, and the laws regarding water, minerals, seeds, biosecurity, and, unfortunately, also the Agricultural Bill for the Promotion and Protection of Corn as Cultural Legacy, in its Diversity and as Food (Ley Agrícola de Fomento y Protección al Maíz como Patrimonio Originario, en Diversificación Constante y Alimentario), in the state of Tlaxcala.

Agrofuels, Food Sovereignty, and the Contemporary Food Crisis

June 2009

In this article, agrofuels are examined in the context of the world food price crisis and the “food sovereignty” proposal for addressing the crisis. Both short- and long-term causes of the crisis are examined, and while agrofuels are presently not a prime causal factor they are clearly contraindicated by the crisis. Food sovereignty, including a moratorium on agrofuels, is argued to offer the best option for managing the crisis.

Keywords: agrofuels; biofuels; food crisis; food prices; food sovereignty; Via Campesina.

Fixing our Global Food System Food Sovereignty and Redistributive Land Reform

01July 2009

ABSTRACT. The recent world food price crisis highlights what many have thought for a long time: the world’s food and agriculture system is broken. Few winners remain in the aftermath of the severe crisis, in which prices for basic food commodities (corn, wheat, rice, soybeans) increased dramatically in 2007 and 2008, only to fall rapidly in the second half of 2008. Although down from their high points, commodity prices are still about double those of the early 2000s.

Food Sovereignty in Latin America: Confronting the ‘New’ Crisis

01 May 2009

ABSTRACT. During the first months of 2007, Mexicans took to the streets to protest a sudden doubling of the price of corn tortillas, the mainstay of the national diet. Government officials and industry blamed the increase of corn prices in the global market on the widespread promotion of ethanol production from corn as part of the agro-fuels initiatives being promoted by then President George W. Bush and President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil.

Food Sovereignty and the Contemporary Food Crisis


ABSTRACT Peter Rosset examines the current global food price crisis, identifying both long- and shortterm causes. He argues that to escape the crisis, countries must rebuild and protect domestic peasant and family farmer food production and public inventories. The ‘food sovereignty’ paradigm put forth by the global peasant and farmer alliance, La Via Campesina, may well offer our only way out of the current conundrum.
KEYWORDS food crisis; food sovereignty; La Via Campesina; peasant; farmers; agrofuels; hedge funds


Transgenic Crops to Address Third World Hunger? A Critical Analysis

01 August 2005

ABSTRACT. Industry and mainstream research and policy institutions often suggest that transgenic crop varieties can raise the productivity of poor third world farmers, feed the hungry, and reduce poverty. These claims are critically evaluated by examining global-hunger data, the constraints that affect the productivity of small farmers in the third world, and the factors that explain their poverty. No significant role is found for crop genetics in determining hunger, productivity, or poverty, casting

Socioeconomic and Environmental Impacts of the Liberalization of Basic Grains under NAFTA: The Case of Sinaloa

01 February 2003

Socioeconomic and Environmental Impacts of the Liberalization of Basic Grains under NAFTA: The Case of Sinaloa
Author: Ana de Ita
The Trade Context



Advocates of biotechnology affirm that the application of genetic engineering to develop transgenic crops will increase world agricultural productivity, enhance food security, and move agriculture away from a dependence on chemical inputs helping to reduce