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Nov 17, 2008

UNAM Reports GM Corn in Mexican Landraces

Elena Alvarez-Buylla
UNAM scientist
Photo: UNAM
The Food and Chemical News provides a review of the report issued by scientists at the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) that concludes that gene-modified (GM) corn has been discovered cross-pollinating with local corn crops in traditional "landraces" in Mexico. 

Conclusions from UNAM's report are similar to those published by Drs. Ignacio Chapala and David Quist in 2001 in their controversial Nature article in 2001.  After reviewing the methodologies used in the 2001 article, Nature retracted the publication.  Both reports are being used by groups opposed the growing of GM corn in Mexico. 

The lead scientist on the UNAM report, Elena Alvarez-Buylla has confirmed to the media that genes from GM maize were found in three of the 23 locations that were sampled in 2001, and again in two of those locations using samples taken in 2004.

For more see:
"Transgenes from genetically engineered corn crops have been found in traditional 'landrace' varieties in the Mexican heartland."(INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS)." Food Chemical News. 17 Nov. 2008.

Alvarez-Buylla, Elena et al., "Transgenes in Mexican maize: molecular evidence and methodological considerations for GMO detection in landrace populations," Molecular Ecology, 14:8 (18 December 2008), 750-761.

"Confirman contaminación por maíz transgénico," La Jornada en la Ciencia, Mexico [accessed 4-8-10]

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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