GMO Court Case
Mexican judge bans GMO maize
The very good news from last week was the decision of the Federal Tribunal of Mexico to suspend all authorisations for growing GMO maize. On the 10th of October, the federal judge of the 12th Federal District Court for Civil Matters of Mexico City ordered Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture (SAGARPA, Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca, y Alimentación), and its Secretary of Environment (SEMARNAT, Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), to immediately “suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings” because of imminent harm to the environment. This decision follows a lawsuit that was brought on 5th July last by a collective (accion collectiva) of concerned citizens, producers' organisations, indigenous groups, beekeepers and ecologists. Multinationals like Monsanto and Pioneer are banned from the release of transgenic maize in the Mexican countryside as long as the collective action lawsuits are working their way through the judicial system. Mexico is the centre of origin and diversity of maize with 59 races and thousands of varieties and as such it holds a special responsibility to avoid contamination of local maize varieties by transgenic varieties. The only way to prevent maize ancestors and local adapted varieties to be irremediably contaminated is to stop the growing of GMO maize and we welcome this important precautionary legal decision from Mexico.