No Corn, No Country

Last week saw a big victory for the farmers and civil society groups behind the campaign known as “Sin Maíz No Hay País” (No Corn No Country); a network calling for food sovereignty and an end to the use of GM crops in Mexico.

In an unprecedented move, the District Federal Court for Civil Matters in Mexico City emitted a precautionary legal measure to stop existing and pending permits for the use of GM corn.

Citing risk of imminent damage to the environment, the measure will impede multinational corporations such as Monsanto and Pioneer from releasing GM corn onto Mexican fields until the lawsuit is resolved. The news is being seen as a battle won in the long conflict against genetically modified crops, marking the start of a new stage in the struggle for food sovereignty in Mexico.

The legal measure is a result of a class action lawsuit (or representative action) whereby a group of citizens can make a joint claim. On July 5, 2013, citizens, farmers, environmentalists, indigenous peoples, lawyers, scientists and activists working for the defense of the national staple crop – corn – did just that. Among them: Dr. Raul Hernandez Garciadiego, representative of the Tehuacán Amaranth Presidium, José Carlos Redon, leader from Del Bosque convivium and Eduardo Correa, coordinator of the Slow Food Youth Network in Mexico.

Speaking on October 10, Eduardo Correa said:

“We feel very honored to have been invited to participate in the signing of this historic document. As members of Slow Food, it is our duty to take a stand and act accordingly with our convictions and ideals. It is no longer enough to be responsible co-producers; today we must take affirmative actions oriented to preserve all that we consider essential for nature, and for us… We give thanks to those who started this fight for all of us; we are proud to be able to support you and to actively join the ranks of the campaign in defense of Mexican corn: Sin Maíz No Hay País.”

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Photo credit: Aromina Garcia, Agencia Púlsar

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