Mexico approves first GM maize trials

The trials will take place in the state of Tamaulipas, and “be the first such in Mexico”, it confirms. Monsanto says that it has yet to receive official notification. The events that have been granted approval are as yet unidentified. They were among 35 applications received by the Ministries. Three further Monsanto GM maize events have since been approved for field trials, pending a 30-day public comment period, ending on November 17th. They are for its: glyphosate-tolerant MON00603-6; stacked glyphosate-tolerant and insect-resistant MON00603-6xMON89034-3; and insect-resistant and glyphosate-tolerant MON88017-3xMON89034-3 maize. The Cibiogem is yet to rule on most other applications. They include applications from as far back as 2005 from Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, and DuPont seed subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Monsanto had 15 of the applications in the authorisation process. It is seeking to obtain approvals to plant in the states of Sonora and Sinola, the planting cycles for which end in the coming month. The company is required to carry out pilot planting after trials, before it can market the products. “We trust that we will receive the go-ahead for trials in those states in the coming days or else we would have to wait another year,” a Monsanto spokesperson said. The field tests will be carried out “completely away from other crops, and in states that do not grow native varieties of conventional maize”, the Ministries say. The possible cross-pollination of GM lines with native varieties is a thorny issue in Mexico. The country passed legislation earlier this year facilitating the approval for planting of GM maize. The government gave the authorities the go-ahead to consider applications in June.


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