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29.11.2011: INES 20th Anniversary

Mexico's Maize Diversity in Danger


16. November 2012

Call to Action: stop the planting of GMO corn in open field situations in Mexico

Imminent approval of large-scale planting of GMO corn: Scientists alert over threat to maize in its center of origin and diversification. Human health is also at risk.

The union of socially concerned scientists (Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad (UCCS) has prepared a statement to Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, in which they ask him for a declaration to ask the Mexican Government to apply the Precautionary Principle and reject all commercial applications from the Biotech Corporations to release transgenic maize varieties in Mexico. UCCS demands:

  • To stop the processing of any application for open-field release of GM corn in Mexico and in its place promote a thorough, transparent and publicly acceptable review of both the specific crops and transgenic lines, as well as the process of review itself leading to their possible planting vis a vis technological alternatives that do not imply the use of GMOs and/or highly indistrialized agriculture.
  • To cancel all existing permits for “pilot scale” and “experimental scale” releases into the open, public environment.
  • To begin an immediate review of the environmental and social aspects of GM corn plantation in Mexico based on thorough scientific criteria and public engagement, through a transparent and participatory process that can lead to a set of criteria that are socially and environmentally acceptable. Such process should consider the best technological options to address issues of food production in our country, and should consider traditional alternatives that gave way to the diversity of cultivars in their Centers of Origin and Diversification and that continue to be instrumental for their dynamic conservation, as well as the representatives of expert campesino and indigenous maize production cultures in Mexico whose livelihoods are acutely endangered by the introduction of GM plantations.
  • To review, through thorough and transparent scientific and public consultation, the overeaching policies leading to the planting of GM corn in Mexico. We believe that such a process should be guided by a precautionary approach as well as by criteria guided by social justice and sustainability assessments, based on rigorous scientific knowledge, not an unquestioning acceptance and promotion of the studies done by the corporations that produce and commercialize GMOs and that promote the open-field planting of GM corn in Mexico.

Take a stake in the well-being of the food and agricultural basis of the world and the Mexican culture. Read more about the campaign and sign the statement here.

Read the letter to the Mexican President and the accompanying report here:


29. September, 2009.

Sign a statement of the Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad (UCCS) to the President of Mexico, Mr. Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa to prevent irreversible damage to one of the World's most precious resources:

Mexico's maize diversity.

This year you stand in a historical position to prevent irreversible damage to one of the World's most precious resources: Mexico's maize diversity. We observe that your Administration may be rushing to introduce genetically modified (GM) maize into the Mexican environment and we are convinced, from our understanding of the scientific evidence, that this move represents a disproportionate risk which should be avoided for the benefit of Mexico and the World. Joined together in our well-informed concern, we urge you to move aggressively to ensure that no GM maize is planted in Mexico, the Center of Origin and Diversification of this most important crop.

Read background Information

Visit website and sign the statement