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

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. 

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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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