Mexican farmers oppose GM bean

They say government move could cause overproduction of the crop and make the prices fall

Published: Wednesday 16 July 2014

beansA majority of bean producers in Mexico are against the government’s decision to promote transgenic varieties of the crop. Mexico has about 300,000 bean producers, most of whom are small-scale farmers. The government’s decision could lead to an overproduction of bean, making its prices fall, they fear.

Cultivation of genetically modified crops beans in increasingly gaining focus in Mexico after various legal decisions banned cultivation of genetically modified maize and soybean in 2013. The government and the industry is now focusing on other GM crops, primarily beans and wheat.

On April 22, Mexico's National Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research asked the National Service for Agri-Food Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) to be allowed experimental planting of Phaseolus vulgaris L. (transgenic beans) on 0.12 hectares in Guanajuato, a state in central Mexico. Four more applications have been sent to SENASICA for cultivation of GM beans this year.

Beans were being grown on 1.83 million hectares in the country in 2013 and the total production was 1.28 million tonnes. Farmers fear GM beans could contaminate the native and hybrid varieties which have a higher yield. They say modified varieties do not have any advantages and the government wants to promote them just to prove it that national institutes have good research capabilities.


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