Monsanto & Friends are already rejoicing. By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.
Resisting Monsanto, the world’s largest, most influential GMO giant, is an almost impossible task. The corporation boasts more back channels and revolving doors with national governments and regulators than just about any other company on the planet, not to mention a fearsome army of corporate lawyers and lobbyists.
Few countries are more aware of this fact than Mexico, where a small collective of activist groups, scientists, artists and gourmet chefs have been engaged in a titanic legal struggle with Monsanto. Although they keep winning crucial battles, the war is still likely to be won by Monsanto, thanks to one key weapon in its arsenal: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
An Existential Struggle
For Mexican smallholders and consumers, the struggle with Monsanto & Friends is an existential one. In a 2013 ruling banning the cultivation of GMOs in Mexico, Judge Manuel Zaleta cited the potential risks to the environment posed by GMO corn. If the biotech industry got its way, he argued, more than 7000 years of indigenous maize cultivation in Mexico would be endangered, with the country’s 60 varieties of corn directly threatened by cross-pollination from transgenic strands.
In the last two years scores of appeals were brought against Zaleta’s ruling by the likes of Monsanto, Syngenta, and Dupont as well as Mexico’s Ministries of Agriculture and Environment. All of them were quashed. But then in August this year, a judge with a more sympathetic ear…