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Last week Mexico took a daring step and placed a ban on the planting of GMO seeds within the countries borders.  This judgement was passed by Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J. of the Twelfth Federal District Court for Civil Matters in Mexico City.

You may be wondering why are they banning GMO crops?

The Judge is claiming that GMO crops “pose an imminent risk to the environment.”  The Judge took his judgment a step further by “ ordering a suspension of all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings.”

Mexico is the birthplace of traditional maize and the judge is attempting to preserve the original genetic makeup of this crop.  However, if the judge had any scientific knowledge of plant physiology and genetics he would realize he is going about this the wrong way.

The judge is claiming that GMOs require too much pesticide use and that the native insect population is being affected by GMOs.  Pesticides are used in conventional, GM, AND organic production.  Pests are a real problem for producers and without pesticides we wouldn’t have a crop to harvest each year.  Also, the “gene swapping” that people freak out about in GM crops?  It occurs on its own in nature.  Just because you have GM crops planted, does not mean they will ruin your traditional plants.  Does genetic drift occur?  You bet it does.  It is something to be aware of?  YES.  However, completely banning GMOs on a political agenda is not the answer.

I also forgot to mention that this ban has nothing to do with food safety, in any shape or form.  It is only concerned with preserving traditional maize and the environment.  The judge believes that by banning GMO crops AND research that maize will not evolve on its own over time…….  Plants naturally evolve over time, IT HAPPENS.  They gene swap naturally in nature, its called, pollination.  The world cannot be fed off of organic foods, its simply not possible.  We need the technology and scientific advances research provides us with.

In the same week, Forbes released an article titled, “2000+ Reasons Why GMOs Are Safe To Eat And Environmentally Sustainable.”  This article addressed the hype around food safety and sustainability concerned with GMOs.  The author, Jon Entine, did a beautiful job giving credit where credit is given.  He addressed the fact that GMOs have been around for 20+ years and THERE HAS BEEN A NUMBER OF SCIENTIFIC STUDIES DONE ON THE SAFETY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF GMO CROPS!!!!!!  In today’s growing world populations GMOs are essential to feed the world.   (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/10/14/2000-reasons-why-gmos-are-safe-to-eat-and-environmentally-sustainable/)

All of this to say, “Banning GMO is prohibition based on superstition (@IowaFarmBureau, Lynas)” and “Scientific American: Whether GM foods are safe is a scientific not political question.”  Before you go making opinions on the use, safety, and sustainability of GMO foods and crops, do you research.  Realize that this is a topic that is at the college level and above.  Read peer reviewed articles and consider the source before forming your own educated opinion.

Sources: http://grist.org/news/gmo-corn-crop-trials-suspended-in-mexico/ , http://grist.org/news/gmo-corn-crop-trials-suspended-in-mexico/ , http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/10/14/2000-reasons-why-gmos-are-safe-to-eat-and-environmentally-sustainable/

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