As California voters were considering whether to require food with genetically modified ingredients to be labeled as such, the ongoing debate in Mexico over genetically modified organisms was again heating up. Much of the debate over GM food in the U.S. centers on its potential effects on human health. But in Mexico, it’s about biodiversity — particularly of corn, the base of the Mexican diet.

Around 70 varieties of corn are native to Mexico. Those opposed to the planting and importation of GM corn are concerned it could contaminate native corn, leading to a loss of biodiversity.

Mexico outlawed the planting of GM crops in 1998, but then loosened the ban under outgoing president Felipe Calderón. In recent years, international companies like Monsanto and Syngenta have received permits to plant experimental pilot plots of GM corn in Mexico.

via Mexico Takes Step to Allow Planting of GM Corn | Fronteras Desk.