No country for new seeds: food and environmental security implications of Mexico’s intended ban on GM crops

Abstract

An intended generalized ban on the “introduction and use of transgenic seeds” has been announced by the Mexican government, which, unlike the other agricultural programs under this administration, lacks a budget and rules of operation. In this policy brief we consider scenarios of implementing such an intended ban, de-regulating the use of genetically modified crops, or an intermediate scenario under the existing biosafety regulations. We recommend maintaining the status quo given its potential contributions to food and environmental security, in addition to a better economic outlook. However, a greater impulse needs to be given by the federal government to foment the domestic development of GM crops that are pertinent for Mexican agri-food needs, in addition to funding the development and implementation of various agro-ecological practices that increase biodiversity in food production units.

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Funding

This study was funded by Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Grant No. PAPIIT IN211519).

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Correspondence to Erick de la Barrera.

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de la Barrera, E., Aguirre-Pérez, I.A., Ibarra-Otero, B.A. et al. No country for new seeds: food and environmental security implications of Mexico’s intended ban on GM crops. Transgenic Res 29, 165–170 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11248-019-00186-7

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Keywords

  • Agroecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Biosafety
  • Climate change
  • Public policy
  • Science policy