Mexico’s history and identity are entwined with maize, but today this centuries-old relationship is threatened by the introduction of gentically modified (GM) crops. Slow Food is supporting producers and citizens in a protest against the experimental planting of GM corn in Mexico, as the contamination of native varieties with these crops could have major consequences for Mexican farmers, for local biodiversity and genetic reserves more broadly.
To bring attention to this campaign, the Tehuacán Mixteca Popoloca convivium has organized an event in the Tehuacán valley to bring together its 1,100 members and producers of corn, beans, amaranth (a Slow Food Presidium), and other local traditional crops on the occasion of Terra Madre Day – the global celebration of Slow Food’s 20th anniversary and ‘eating locally’, which will also provide an opportunity for farmers around the world to communicate the threats and problems they face today.
The Mexican government granted permission for the first two sowings of an experimental planting of GM maize on October 15 2009. The decision has been viewed by many as favoring multinationals in the agricultural sector at the expense of the food sovereignty and security of millions of Mexicans and small-scale farmers. The government has approved the crops despite protests that have been occurring across the country for some time, as well as disagreement from many Mexican institutions and organizations.
The National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, (CONABIO) have stated that they are absolutely opposed “to full commercial liberalization of genetically modified corn, as in this case, and with reasons of great weight, cannot evade the principle of precaution given the serious risks this would pose to the varieties of maize in the country”.
LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM SLOW FOOD
Slow Food International President Carlo Petrini has written an open letter to express the concern of the entire Slow Food association about the situation in Mexico and its solidarity with the producers both in Tehuacán and the entire country.
Click here to download this letter in Spanish.
CONTACT THE CAMPAIGN
To show your support for this campaign, you can write to the coordinator of the Tehuacán Mixteca Popoloca convivium Raúl Hernandez Garciadiego:
TERRA MADRE DAY
Click here to find out more about the Terra Madre Day event in Tehuacán (in Spanish) or to see all other Terra Madre Day events happening around the world, visit the Terra Madre Day Website