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28 February 2024

GM genes did contaminate corn in central Mexico: study

Thirty-five tons of corn put by Greenpace activists at Mexico City's Zocalo Square as a protest against the sowing of transgenic corn. (AFP PHOTO)


Scientist say one of the more acrimonious scientific debates of the decade has apparently ended with the publication of a study showing that genetically modified genes did in fact contaminate native corn in the crop’s birthplace in central Mexico.

But the author of the article, published in the February edition of Molecular Ecology, Elena Alvarez Buylla, said economic interests that poisoned the original debate ‘threatening the reputations of some scientists’ still exist.

The controversy started in 2001 with an article in the journal Nature, which said that biotech genetic material had been detected in native Mexican corn in Oaxaca, where the crop was first developed thousands of years ago.