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article imageTop Mexican chefs take stand against GM corn

By AFP     Aug 26, 2015 in Food

Top Mexican chefs urged the president Wednesday to join them in their staunch opposition to genetically modified corn in a country where age-old grains are cherished traditions.

About 100 well-known chefs such as Enrique Olvera and Alex Ruiz were among the Mexican Cooking Group that urged President Enrique Pena Nieto to side with them.

Mexico since last year temporarily banned cultivation of the crops in which some genes are modified to make them hardier or make them work better with a particular pesticide -- pending an investigation into health and environmental safety.

But a judge ruled August 19 to suspend the temporary hold.

While supporters laud the fact modified crops may bring larger yields, detractors worry that the crop itself could be unhealthy for humans, and that pesticides will sully their farmland and water supply.

Some social groups and environmental organizations have protested, calling for the ban to be permanent.

"Growing these products undermines the biodiversity of our native corn grains and endangers their very existence," the chefs said in a statement.

Mexico is a leading producer of white corn from which tortillas are made; they are a food staple for much of the country.

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