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Wed Oct 20, 2021, 09:40 AM

Upstart Corn Activists in Mexico Just Beat GMO Goliath Bayer-Monsanto

In a real-life David versus Goliath moment, a small group of Mexican activists just won a major battle in a longstanding legal dispute with big farming monolith Bayer-Monsanto and other chemical and seed companies.

Mexico's Supreme Court just rejected appeals by companies including Bayer-Monsanto, Synganta, and Corteva, and voted to ratify an injunction that restricts the cultivation of genetically modified corn. The injunction was submitted in 2013 by a small group of activists and has effectively stopped Monsanto, which was bought by Bayer in 2018, and other companies from turning Mexico's massive and culturally important corn industry into genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for 8 years.

“It's a remarkable story,” Timothy Wise, a senior advisor at the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy and author of the book Eating Tomorrow which details the case, told VICE World News.

“How are these pesky, little, underfunded groups with their inexperienced legal teams taking on these freaking companies?”

The legal fight began in 2013 when a group called Demanda Colectiva en Defensa del Maíz Nativo, or the Collective Lawsuit in Defense of Native Corn in English, petitioned the Mexican government to halt the use of genetically modified corn because the country's constitution guarantees the right to a clean environment. The coalition of farmer, consumer, and environmental groups that makes up the collective argued that genetically modified corn causes cross-pollination and endangers native corn varieties, which is a staple of Mexican culture, cuisine, and its environment.


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Reply Upstart Corn Activists in Mexico Just Beat GMO Goliath Bayer-Monsanto (Original post)
Jilly_in_VA Oct 20 OP
multigraincracker Oct 20 #1
abqtommy Oct 20 #2

Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Oct 20, 2021, 09:54 AM

1. The Birth of Modern Genetic Modific

Great article about the history of all of this. I remember, years ago, when a seed company sued a farmer because they found traces of their GMO in his crop and he had not paid any royalties. Turned out the GMO crops were spreading the genes to neighboring fields.


An enormous breakthrough in GMO technology came in 1973, when Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen worked together to engineer the first successful genetically engineered (GE) organism [5]. The two scientists developed a method to very specifically cut out a gene from one organism and paste it into another. Using this method, they transferred a gene that encodes antibiotic resistance from one strain of bacteria into another, bestowing antibiotic resistance upon the recipient. One year later, Rudolf Jaenisch and Beatrice Mintz utilized a similar procedure in animals, introducing foreign DNA into mouse embryos [6].

Although this new technology opened up countless avenues of research possibilities, immediately after its development, the media, government officials, and scientists began to worry about the potential ramifications on human health and Earth’s ecosystems [7]. By the middle of 1974, a moratorium on GE projects was universally observed, allowing time for experts to come together and consider the next steps during what has come to be known as the Asilomar Conference of 1975 [8]. At the conference, scientists, lawyers, and government officials debated the safety of GE experiments for three days. The attendees eventually concluded that the GE projects should be allowed to continue with certain guidelines in place [9]. For instance, the conference defined safety and containment regulations to mitigate the risks of each experiment. Additionally, they charged the principal investigator of each lab with ensuring adequate safety for their researchers, as well as with educating the scientific community about important developments. Finally, the established guidelines were expected to be fluid, influenced by further knowledge as the scientific community advanced.

Due to the unprecedented transparency and cooperation at the Asilomar Conference, government bodies around the world supported the move to continue with GE research, thus launching a new era of modern genetic modification.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Oct 20, 2021, 10:29 AM

2. This is indeed good news! nt

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