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Mexico Suspends Testing of GMO Corn

Court ruling cites 'risk of imminent harm to the environment' as basis for suspension

Published on: Oct 21, 2013

A federal district court in Mexico has issued an injunction that suspends field trials on genetically modified corn in the country, according to statements from Mexican media group La Coperacha and national activism campaign "Without Corn There is No Country."

In a press statement, La Coperacha said the decision prohibits both the environmental and agricultural ministries from approving any pending requests to study GMO corn in the country.

Mexican activist group Collective Action initiated the overarching lawsuit last July, the corn campaign noted. La Coperacha further reports that the group aims to achieve "absolute suspension" of experimental, pilot and commercial introduction of transgenic maize in Mexico.

Court ruling cites risk of imminent harm to the environment as basis for suspension
Court ruling cites 'risk of imminent harm to the environment' as basis for suspension

Father Miguel Concha, representing the plaintiff's view in the case, said the judge's decision falls within the spirit of the precautionary principle contained in various international instruments on human rights, the corn campaign reports. He added that the lawsuit also seeks to protect the human right to retain, use and participate in the biodiversity of native maize, which faces threat from GM maize.

Victor Suarez Carrera, executive director of the National Association of Produce Marketing Enterprises (ANEC), also a plaintiff in the case, argued that scientists have shown "it is possible to contain transgenic maize and progressive and irreversible accumulation of current and future transgenic packages, could exceed the lethal threshold of tolerance of the plant and prevent its survival," an ANEC statement said.

The group contends also that introduction of GM maize could seriously affect the uniqueness of Mexico as a center of maize origin.