Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mexico, the birthplace of corn, is edging toward the use of genetically modified varieties to lower its dependence on imports, but strong opposition among some growers and environmentalists, who see altered corn as a threat to native strains, has kept the wheels turning slowly. Yes, we now have crops that have genes that have been manipulated to give them pest resistance or other desirable traits. Sort of a make over or plastic surgery for our food where the best of that original food used to grow.

People are going crazy over this new way to have corn in Mexico. The natives are very superstitious. “We are the children of corn. It’s our life, and we need to protect it,” said Jose Velasaco, a corn producer in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, where he grows two native varieties. According to Mayan legend, the gods created humans from corn. The plant is still used in some religious rituals. This controversy with all its religious karma belongs in a Spielberg movie staring Nicholas Cage with the wrath of God coming out of a corn field parting the stalks and bringing a flood. Oh that is something like another movie.
Protests have been staged across Mexico, and a coalition of 300 groups has led a campaign called “Sin maiz no hay pais,” or “Without corn there is no country.” Did the scientists have to put this test tube stuff in Mexico and get those people so mad? They don’t have much. Don’t mess with their worshiped corn!!
Opening the doors to genetically modified corn, its opponents fear, would contaminate native varieties, such as the red Xocoyol or the black Yautsi, increase dependence on foreign companies and possibly harm the nation’s environment and health. Supporters of the modified seeds say they would help Mexico win agricultural independence from the U.S., from which it imports as much as nine million tons of yellow corn annually for livestock feed, most of it genetically modified. No wonder Harry the horse has been trotting faster lately.
Some opponents also worry that the altered corn will hurt the environment. In some parts of the U.S., pests have evolved resistance to pest-resistant corn, leading to an increase in the use of pesticides, rather than the intended decrease. God help us all. What have we gotten us into now.!!!

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