Last month’s ruling by the country’s Supreme Court fuels sustainable farming worldwide, writes Ernesto Hernández-López.
Last month México’s Supreme Court provided hope for biodiversity, especially in the Global South, while flaming fear for seed companies. In a historic step, it ruled for corn advocates and against genetically modified (GMO) corn. The decision was a momentous act in country where maíz (corn) carries daily and sacred significance.
This promises a way out of stale GMO debates that plague us. One side argues that genetic changes to seeds increase harvests. Seed companies and industrial agriculture make up this side. Another side says GMOs damage plant DNA.
Small-scale farmers and environmentalists stand on this side. Neither addresses the other. This standstill keeps GMO policies ineffective. The court’s decision offers a path out of this by cutting at seed company positions.
We should follow slow grown Mexican resistance to GMOs.
By emphasizing biodiversity, the ruling fuels sustainable farming worldwide. In legal terms, the decision found that it is constitutional for courts to block commercial permits for GMO corn.
Seed companies, like Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, and PHI, need these to sell seeds in México. They lost.
Global GMO Push
But much more is at stake than permits and court orders. These agrochemical companies pursue a global push for GMO agriculture, not just in México. Farmers worldwide worry that companies control GMO seed use (not growers) and that seeds cause permanent environmental harm.
Frustrations persistently spread, evident at this year’s UN COP26 and UN global food summit.
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