Facing stiff GM crop restrictions, Mexican cotton farmers may import illegal biotech seeds

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Credit: World Bank
Credit: World Bank

During 2020, cotton production fell [in Mexico, as only] one million bales were produced, 500 thousand less than in other years. 35 percent of the area was [left unsown] due to the lack of seeds, said Raúl Treviño, president of the cotton product system.

In a videoconference, he explained that transgenic cotton seeds have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years …. and they must be renewed… He warned that “desperate producers can import the seeds illegally, thereby eliminating the traceability of genetically modified organisms.”

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He recalled that [in] 1995 the country began to sow genetically modified seeds, which increased the yield, which went from three bales per hectare to seven. 

He stressed that the international market for organic cotton products is small …. He ruled it out as a viable option for Mexican cotton growers. “We would leave the market.”

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Spanish and has been translated and edited for clarity.

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