A major victory against Monsanto was won south of the border this month. A federal district court judge in Yucatán — which includes the Quintana Roo, Campeche, and Yucatán states — has overturned a permit allowing Monsanto to plant genetically modified soy there.
Yucatán Federal Judge Rules Against Monsanto
The ruling came after Mexico’s Union of Concerned Scientists Committed to Society concluded that the planting of Monsanto’s GM soy crop threatens honey production in Mexico, the world’s sixth-biggest producer and third-largest exporter of honey.
According to an editorial in La Jornada, “The [Monsanto] permit runs the severe risk of undermining the marketing of honey produced in these states and destined for the European market.” Indeed, 85 percent of Mexico’s honey is exported to the European Union, where honey containing pollen from GM crops is forbidden.
Why the Ruling Against Monsanto Matters
The long-term economic impact is rooted in an ongoing, fundamental shift in which corporations have usurped individual and local power over food production, by steadily increasing their number of patented seeds and far-reaching permits. Regional groups in Mexico, including the Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, and the National Institute of Ecology, have been relentless in their efforts to push back and revoke such control.
“If it is true that the eradication of hunger is a priority of the current federal government,” said the editors of La Jornada, “then the starting point must be the recognition of the relationship between the scourge (of genetically modified organisms) and the food-policy model that has been imposed on the entire population, which has transformed the human right to food into the private business of a few companies.”
The biotech giant is expected to appeal the decision. Learn more about the Mexican ruling against Monsanto at Grist.org.