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GMO corn in Mexico … is it really banned? — Negativo

One week ago, a Mexican judge officially banned all GMO corn in Mexico.  This was the direct result of their scientists finding that up to 95% of the wild “maize” (corn) fields in the Mexican States of Oaxaca and Pueblo contain GMO contamination.  There are approx. 20,000 varieties of corn grown in Mexico, the raw material for the most important staple food in Mexico- tortillas. It is used in many different foods including tacos, tamales tostadas, enchiladas, corn chips, and even in some drinks and desserts … just to name a few things.

Photo credit – Jen Wilton via Flckr

The Aztecs were the original developers of corn, over 1,000 years ago, prior to the migration, colonization and eventual destruction of their empire by Western Europe (France and Spain).  It is ironic that the latest invasion into Mexican culture is now coming from the north, the USA.  Monsanto has been trying for several years to get permits from the Mexican government to grow GMO corn in the State of Sinaloa. This would just be their first step for entry into all of Mexico.  A Mexican Federal judge has blocked their permit request because of environmental concerns.

Mexico the inventor of corn, is a net importer of $2.3 billion of U.S. corn, most of which has been genetically modified.  While the Mexican Federal judge’s order may eventually block the use of GMO seeds from being planted, so far that order has not blocked the importation of U.S. GMO corn from entering Mexico, though his order includes both seeds and the sale of finished corn and corn products within Mexico.

The slow and somewhat corrupt political and judicial system that is foiling Monsanto’s attempt to get GMO approval, is working in favor of the U.S. exporters to find a way to continue to pour GMO corn into Mexico.  Mexico does not have an FDA checking for non-GMO certification at their ports of entry into the country.  Mexico’s Customs and Agricultural inspection folks are also not known for their vigilance and dedication nor resistance to monetary temptation.

Enter Donald Trump and his anti-NAFTA campaign.  The irony of this whole affair that might be Mexico’s only hope to save their corn crops from Monsanto’s GMOs is President Trump.  His plans to renegotiate the NAFTA agreement, which may cause a breakdown in trade for key commodities with our partners in Mexico ….  may save Mexico’s corn crops from the onslaught of GMO’s whether by seed or by corn imports from the U.S..

This is upsetting, to watch the slow migration of GMO seeds and GMO “food” (or however you might classify it) across the globe. So here is a look at one part of the world that our genetic manipulators have not yet found a way to alter — coral reefs. The first photo below is of a patch of healthy coral off Belize.

Soft corals along a Belize reef

It is also interesting to take a closer (macro) look at one of these soft corals and see the individual colonies growing along its surface.

Macro view of soft coral surface

It has certainly helped to now be using a better camera, and shooting higher resolution shots with macro lenses. Sometimes the most interesting objects underwater are the things that you cannot see with your eye without the help of magnification.


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