Home > actualités > dans l'actualité > Vandana Shiva makes an International call to support Mexico in the defense of Seed Freedom and Biodiversity

Press Release

  • Vandana Shiva joins the Campaña Nacional Sin Maíz No Hay País (National Campaign ‘Without Maize There Is No Country’) to defend native maize against the threats of genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs).
  • She considers Mexico’s decision to restrict the use of genetically manipulated maize in human food, to be of global significance.
  • The main purpose of her visit to Mexico is to call for a worldwide halt to the privatization of nature and to prevent biopiracy that only benefits corporations.

 Mexico City, March 16th, 2024.- Vandana Shiva, Indian scientist, ecofeminist and activist, worldly renowned for her work in favor of biocultural diversity and sustainable agriculture, is in Mexico to support Mexican activists, non-governmental organizations and communities that defend native maize.

Her visit occurs in the context of the installation of a Dispute Settlement Panel under the U.S., Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA), requested by the U.S. government in rejection of the Mexican government’s decision to restrict the use of genetically manipulated (modified) maize in human food.

This Dispute Settlement Panel neglects the risks to human health, the environment and biodiversity associated with genetically manipulated maize. In addition, it jeopardizes the food sovereignty of peasant and indigenous communities, and of practically the entire Mexican population, since maize is a staple food.

In response to this omission, on March 15th, non-governmental organizations from Mexico and the United States presented their Technical Opinions before the Panel, arguments based on reliable scientific evidence, which point out and warn about the multiple risks that make it pertinent and urgent to stop the presence of genetically manipulated maize in the food of Mexican population, and as raw material for other industries.

An unfavorable resolution for Mexico in this Panel, would limit Mexican people’s right to decide which seeds to plant and which types of maize to feed themselves with.

Vandana Shiva joins her voice to Mexican non-governmental organizations that defend the free cultivation and exchange of seeds among peasant and indigenous communities, fundamental in the conservation of biodiversity and food sovereignty in Mexico.

Food Imperialism (or the imposition of Genetically Manipulated Organisms by corporations) 

According to Vandana Shiva, governments and corporations force the introduction of genetically manipulated seeds to impose Food Imperialism through various tools such as regulatory frameworks for intellectual property of seeds, such as UPOV 91, and legal mechanisms like the aforementioned Dispute Settlement Panel.

This imperialism seeks to appropriate the world’s seeds, destroying the lives and livelihoods of peasant communities, as well as biodiversity, but more seriously, in territories recognized as centers of origin.

Agribusiness companies have neither solved any issue for humanity. The true basis of the world’s food supply is free seeds, the heritage of humanity that contain the answers to pests, climate challenges and other threats to the world’s production of healthy and sufficient food.

Recently, Vandana Shiva also expressed her support for the class action lawsuit against the planting of genetically modified maize in Mexico, filed against the companies Bayer- Monsanto, Syngenta and Corteva Agriscience, which since 2013 has prevented the planting of genetically manipulated maize in Mexican territories.

Mexican NGO’s continue resisting genetically modified maize to strengthen access to healthy, sustainable and culturally appropriate food for all people; to defend the food sovereignty of peasant and indigenous communities, responsible for developing the 59 breeds and thousands of varieties of maize existing in Mexico, which are also part of the milpa, a holistic, sustainable and biodiverse system that involves other staple foods such as beans, chili peppers, squash, quelites and amaranth.

Together with Vandana Shiva, activists and non-governmental organizations such as the Campaña Nacional Sin Maíz No Hay País, we demand governments around the world to stop genetically manipulated seeds, which threaten the survival of food and agricultural systems based on biological and cultural diversity.

Also read:

Events in Mexico: Resisting GMO Imperialism

Events in Mexico: Photos, Videos, Social Media

Join the Declaration in Defense of our Biodiversity, Seed and Food Freedom