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Mexican Farmers Protest Against GE Corn

Mexican farmers protest biotech corn

Associated Press, October 28, 2004
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2004/10/28/mexican_farmers_protest_b
iotech_corn


MEXICO CITY
-- Some 300 Mexican environmentalists and farm activists opposed
to biotech crops demonstrated Thursday outside a Mexico City hotel to
protest a meeting there of agricultural researchers from around the world.


The demonstrators tossed tortillas and ears of corn painted with fluorescent
colors and skulls at a line of riot police guarding the hotel, and demanded
the government halt the importation of genetically modified corn, which they
claim has contaminated local varieties of the crop.

Protesters briefly scuffled with police in an attempt to enter the meeting,
attended by Mexican agriculture officials and about 1,000 scientists from
the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, or CGIAR.

Waving placards reading "Long Live Corn!" the demonstrators blocked traffic
and tried to knock down metal barricades.

The three-day CGIAR event focuses on stimulating economic growth in rural
areas while reducing hunger and poverty. The group works to provide improved
seeds and better agricultural practices, plus better training for
agronomists.

In March, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a NAFTA watchdog
panel, found genetically engineered corn in Mexico despite the country's
six-year-old biotechnology ban.

It said modified genes spread by imported U.S. biotech corn threaten to
displace or contaminate native varieties in Mexico, the birthplace of corn.
Scientists say wild ancestral genes of corn might one day be needed to help
commercial crops overcome diseases or adverse conditions.

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This GMO news service is underwritten by a generous grant from the Newman's
Own Foundation and is a production of the Ecological Farming Association
www.eco-farm.org <http://www.eco-farm.org/>
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