Inderscience Publishers

Learning about biosafety in Mexico: between competitiveness and conservation

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This article briefly describes the current state of agricultural biotechnology in Mexico, and discusses the country's main food and agricultural policies implemented in the last decade. Mexico's position in the international biosafety panorama is very complex: it is the only member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and must implement its provisions. Moreover, Mexico is the Centre of Origin and Diversity (COD) of maize, the main staple food of Mesoamerica, and a region of extraordinarily rich biological diversity. The large asymmetries with its NAFTA partners and the need to meet its commercial agreements, put Mexico in a difficult situation with respect to biodiversity conservation. The paper informs about the findings of transgenic maize in Oaxaca as well as the learning needed, and the challenges faced by the Mexican Government in order to implement the appropriate biosafety measures.

Keywords: biodiversity, biosafety, regulations, transgenic maize, Mexican biotechnology, landraces, rural development, Mexico, developing countries, agricultural biotechnology, food policy, agriculture policy, learning

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