Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 15–26 | Cite as

Importing Corn, Exporting Labor: The Neoliberal Corn Regime, GMOs, and the Erosion of Mexican Biodiversity

Article

Abstract

When genetically modified (GM) imported corn was found growing in Oaxaca and the Tehuacán Valley of Puebla, Mexico (2000–2002), it intensified the debate between activists, academics, and government officials about the effects of trade liberalization on Mexican corn farmers and maize biodiversity. In order to understand the challenges faced by corn farmers and in situ diversity, it is important to contextualize GM corn within the recent neoliberal corn regime and its regional manifestations. This essay offers a case study of how indigenous corn farmers from the southern Tehuacán Valley have adapted to such neoliberal reforms and economic crisis by combining local corn production with US-bound labor migration.

Keywords

GM corn Maize under NAFTA Neoliberal policies Rural Mexico Transnational households 

Abbreviations

Bt

Bacillus Thuringiensis

CBD

Convention for Biological Diversity

CEC

North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

CECCAM

Center for the Study of Change in the Mexican Countryside

CIBIOGEM

Inter-Ministerial Commission on Biosafety

CONACYT

National Council for Science and Technology

CNBA

National Agricultural Biosafety Committee

DGSV

General Directorate of Plant Health

GM

genetically modified

GMO

genetically modified organism

INE

National Ecology Institute

LMO

living modified organism

NAFTA

North American Free Trade Agreement

UN

United Nations

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology and Social AnthropologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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