Just days before a recent March Against Monsanto protest that took place globally on October 12, Mexico, the geographical birthplace of modern-day corn, instituted a regulatory ban on all plantings of genetically modified (GM) varieties of this staple food crop. A victory for food freedom and agricultural integrity, the announcement was made at a press conference in Mexico City on October 10, where officials notified the public and the press that all GM corn plantings, including pilot commercial plantings, were to be immediately suspended.
Though not necessarily permanent, the injunction came after years of protests against transgenic crops, particularly those that threaten the persistence of staple crops like corn. For Mexico, corn, also known as maize, is a primary food crop for which there are hundreds, if not thousands, of heirloom varieties currently being grown. If GM corn varieties are allowed to be cultivated alongside them on any considerable scale, Mexico’s entire agricultural heritage could become extinct.