Genetically Enhanced Corn Events Approved for Pilot Stage

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Posted on: 29 Jul 2012

On June 29, 2012, the Government of Mexico (GOM) announced the approval of three pilot permits for genetically enhanced (GE) corn to be grown on 1,006 hectares in the state of Tamaulipas.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 7/9/2012 GAIN Report Number: MX2047 Mexico Post: Mexico Genetically Enhanced Corn Events Approved for Pilot Stage Report Categories: Biotechnology - GE Plants and Animals Grain and Feed Approved By: Dan Berman Prepared By: Adriana Otero Report Highlights: On June 29, 2012, the Government of Mexico (GOM) announced the approval of three pilot permits for genetically enhanced (GE) corn to be grown on 1,006 hectares in the state of Tamaulipas. This development is significant as GE corn had only previously been planted under the experimental stage in Tamaulipas. Based on Mexico’s Biosafety Law, transgenic seeds must go through three different testing phases: experimental, pilot and commercial. General Information: On June 28, 2012, the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) through the National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Food Quality (SENASICA) published updated information on the status of 2012 requests for environmental release of genetically enhanced crops. Of significance was the approval of three new pilot permits for genetically enhanced (GE) corn to be grown on 1,006 hectares (HA) in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Based on Mexico’s Biosafety Law, all transgenic seeds must go through three different testing phases: experimental, pilot, and commercial. While this represents an important process step, it is important to note that Mexico has yet to approve a biotech corn variety for commercial production. Table 1. GE Corn Approved for Release in Pilot Stage; Tamaulipas Event Trait Release Locations Area Allowed (Ha) MON-00603-6 Tolerance to glyphosate herbicide Reynosa, Río Bravo, 335.53 Valle Hermoso and Matamoros. MON-89034-3 Protection against some Lepidoptera Reynosa, Río Bravo, 335.53 x MON-00603- and tolerance to glyphosate herbicide Valle Hermoso and 6 Matamoros. MON-89034-3 Protection against some Lepidoptera Reynosa, Río Bravo, 335.53 x MON-88017- and Coleoptera, tolerance Valle Hermoso and 3 to glyphosate herbicide Matamoros. From 2005 to 2011, the GOM has granted 145 environmental release permits for experimental testing and 7 permits for pilot stage of GE corn under the Biosafety Law and its implementation rules (Reglamento). Table 2. GE Corn Permits for Environmental Release in Mexico Since 2005 Year Permits Area permitted Area released Applicants (Centers of (Ha) (Ha) Research or Companies) 7 0.87 0.87 3 2005 Experimental 33 14.5 5.07 2 2009 Experimental 67 59.27 5.54 4 2010 Experimental 1 Pilot 0.24 0 1 38 38.66 No data 3 2011 Experimental 6 Pilot 71.03 No data 3 MX2047 Genetically Enhanced Corn Events Approved for Pilot Stage Page 2 3 Pilot 1,006 No data 1 2012 Source: SENASICA and the National Information System for Bio-safety and Biotechnology: http://www.cibiogem.gob.mx/OGMs/Paginas/Permisos.aspx and http://www.senasica.gob.mx/?id=4443. Information as of June 2012. Since 1988, GOM information regarding requests and permits for environmental release on experimental, pilot and commercial stages of biotech crops can be found on the Inter-ministerial Commission for Bio-safety of Genetically Modified Organisms (CIBIOGEM) website. FAS/MEXICO Comments: The recent approval of 3 pilot GE corn events is another step in Mexico’s cautious approach towards biotechnology policy. The recent controversy regarding soybeans and honey (see GAIN MX2041) is an example of the overall sensitivity surrounding the development of biotechnology in Mexico. For More Information FAS/Mexico Web Site: We are available at www.mexico-usda.com or visit the FAS headquarters' home page at www.fas.usda.gov for a complete selection of FAS worldwide agricultural reporting. Other Relevant Reports Submitted by FAS/Mexico: Report Subject Date Number Submitted MX2041 Honey Producers Fear Advances in Biotechnology 7/5/2012 MX2035 Genetically-Enhanced Soybeans Approved for 6/8/2012 Commercial Use MX2017 Mexico Approves 4 Additional GE Corn Pilot Tests 3/25/2012 MX2001 GE Corn Pilot Tests Approved 1/6/2012 MX1100 Mapping Mexican Corn and Implications for 12/21/2011 Biotech Development MX1086 Biotech Corn Permits Being Reviewed-November Update 11/18/2011 MX1070 2011 Biotech Corn Permits Being Reviewed 9/20/2011 MX1056 2011 Biotech Annual: Mexico Authorizes First 7/15/2011 Commercial Biotech Cultivation MX1054 June Cotton Update 6/30/2011 MX1102 2010 Biotech Corn Permits Issued 1/26/2011 Useful Mexican Web Sites: Mexico's equivalent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (SAGARPA) can be found at www.sagarpa.gob.mx , equivalent to the U.S. Department of Commerce (SE) can be found at www.economia.gob.mx and equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (SALUD) can be found at www.salud.gob.mx. The inter-secretarial commission for biosafety of GMO, that maintain the National Information System www.cibiogem.gob.mx These web sites are mentioned for the readers' convenience but USDA does NOT in any way endorse, guarantee the accuracy of, or necessarily concur with, the information contained on the mentioned sites. MX2047 Genetically Enhanced Corn Events Approved for Pilot Stage Page 3 MX2047 Genetically Enhanced Corn Events Approved for Pilot Stage Page 4
Posted: 29 July 2012

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