A ban on planting genetically modified corn in Mexico is likely to continue for years as a slow-moving legal battle grinds on, said a top executive of U.S.-based seed and agrochemical company Monsanto Co.
[On January 26] a Mexican court upheld a late 2013 ruling that temporarily halted even pilot plots of GMO corn following a legal challenge over its effects on the environment.
“It’s going to take a long while for all the evidence to be presented,” Monsanto regional corporate director Laura Tamayo said in an interview. “I think we’re talking years.”
Several years ago, Monsanto submitted two applications for the commercial planting of GMO corn in Mexico. Both sought 700,000 hectares (1.7 million acres) in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, the country’s largest corn-producing area.
Monsanto’s main business in Mexico is developing and selling conventional corn seeds and vegetable seeds, but Tamayo says the company is determined to defend the benefits of genetically modified crops on scientific grounds.
Nevertheless, she noted that for years Monsanto did not see the need to persuade consumers and focused exclusively on convincing farmers to buy its products, allowing some environmental organizations to dominate the debate.
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