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The Battle Over Maíz

14 January 2007

Jennifer Rogers, who is in Oaxaca studying social movements and seed biodiversity… specifically the movement to protect seed corn from contamination by GM seed… knows more about the ties between the Oaxacan civil movements and the jump in tortilla prices than anyone.  

NAFTA gave control of corn production to the United States. The deal struck between the U.S. and Mexico allows the U.S. to export its corn (mostly genetically modified) to the people that first used it (Mexico) and in return, Mexico was promised job opportunities through an increase of factories placed throughout Mexico. However, the majority of the factories continue to be placed along the border, increasing the displacement of families and the unemployment of rural farmers. So already, the recent state of corn in Mexico has disadvantaged farmers and decreased the diversity of corn seeds. And now, reports claim that the price of tortillas has gone up 10 pesos per kilo in some parts of the country. And this can be blaimed in part on the rising cost of corn. El Universal reports: “‘Corn costs 100 percent more than it did a year ago,” said Rafael Ortega Sánchez, director of the National Chamber of the Cornmeal and Tortilla Production Industry.”  

More about “The Battle Over Maíz” at her website.

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