Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 3–14 | Cite as

Traditional Mexican Agricultural Systems and the Potential Impacts of Transgenic Varieties on Maize Diversity

  • Mauricio R. BellonEmail author
  • Julien Berthaud


The discovery of transgenes in maize landraces in Mexico, a center of diversity for this crop, raises questions about the potential impact of transgene diffusion on maize diversity. The concept of diversity and farmers’ role in maintaining diversity is quite complex. Farmers’ behavior is expected to have a significant influence on causing transgenes to diffuse, to be expressed differently, and to accumulate within landraces. Farmers’ or consumers’ perceptions that transgenes are “contaminants” and that landraces containing transgenes are “contaminated” could cause these landraces to be rejected and trigger a direct loss of diversity.


Biosafety Center of diversity Genetic erosion Latin America Maize Mexico Small-scale farmers Transgenic varieties 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)MexicoMexico
  2. 2.Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)MontpellierFrance

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