Monsanto sees prolonged delay on GMO corn permits in Mexico

1/30/2017 Reuters

CorncobsA ban on planting genetically modified corn in Mexico is likely to continue for years as a slow-moving legal battle grinds on, said a top executive of U.S.-based seed and agrochemical company Monsanto Co.

Last week, a Mexican court upheld a late 2013 ruling that temporarily halted even pilot plots of GMO corn following a legal challenge over its effects on the environment.

“It’s going to take a long while for all the evidence to be presented,” Monsanto regional corporate director Laura Tamayo said in an interview. “I think we’re talking years.”

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StrawberryPickersNearPonchatoulaFSA

“Mexico to double berry output in four years with China’s help”

10/24/2016 EJInsight

Mexico expects its berry production to double in the coming four years with rising demand from China, the world’s second largest economy.

Mexican berry exports, which include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries, are worth about US$1.5 billion a year, up 20 percent every year, Mario Alejandro Andrade Cárdenas, vice president of Foreign Trade of the National Agricultural Council (CNA), told EJ Insight.

“With such strong growth, which is partly contributed by China, it is likely that we will be able to double our production of berries in about four years,” Andrade said.

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U.S.-Mexico Agricultural Trade: Opportunities for Making Free Trade Under NAFTA More Agile

08/22/2016 USDA Economic Research Service

us mex flagAs part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico and the United States gradually eliminated all tariffs and quotas governing bilateral agricultural trade during a 14-year transition period from January 1, 1994, to January 1, 2008. The same period saw growing cooperation between the two countries on sanitary, phytosanitary, and other regulatory issues affecting the agricultural and processed food sectors—a process that continues to this day. Together, this sweeping trade liberalization and ongoing regulatory cooperation made possible a dramatic increase in U.S.-Mexico agricultural trade.

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Mexico Watches Out for Banned Steroid Clenbuterol in Food

4/27/2016 The New York Times 

CH_cow_2_croppedMEXICO CITY — Mexico is watching out for the banned steroid clenbuterol — on the dinner plates of its athletes.

Ranchers in Mexico have been known to feed clenbuterol to livestock to help increase meat yields, even though it is prohibited.

Mexico’s national sports commission, Conade, said Wednesday that coaches are keeping a special watch on meat supplied to athletes ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic games.

“We should be conscious and careful about the kind of meat that is selected” for athletes, said Conade director Alfredo Castillo. He said organic beef, chicken, fish and pork could be explored for somewhat safer alternatives.

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Mexico mayor: To beat opium farming, legalize it

opium_poppy_field_-_mexico3/18/2016 CBS News

MEXICO CITY — The governor of one of Mexico’s most violent states is making waves by proposing that impoverished farmers be allowed to grow opium poppies for legal medical use.

Guerrero state is among Mexico’s poorest, and many remote mountain communities already grow small plots of poppies, which are bought by drug cartels that have fought violent turf battles throughout the Pacific coast state.

It has become the biggest opium-producing state in Mexico, supplying about half the heroin used in the United States.

Guerrero Gov. Hector Astudillo suggested this week that farmers be allowed to produce opium for legal medical use.

Astudillo, a member of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, later said his comments were more thinking-out-loud than a concrete proposal.

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Mexico governor floats idea of medical opium growing to reduce drug violence

3/15/16 Reuters

Afghanistan_16A senior Mexican official has said legalizing cultivation of opium poppies for medicinal purposes might help reduce violence in one of the regions most affected by brutal drug gangs that have ravaged the country for years.

Hector Astudillo, governor of Guerrero, one of the most violent states in Mexico, told Milenio television it was worth at least exploring the possibility of allowing cultivation.

“Let’s do some sort of pilot scheme,” Astudillo, a member of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, told Milenio in an interview recorded last week but broadcast on Monday.

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Jose Antonio Meade on Combating Poverty in Mexico

2/11/16 Harvard Political Review

13317170344_3f13f47d5c_oHarvard Political Review: In the last five years, you have been in four different Secretary positions—Energy, Finance, Foreign Affairs, and now Social Development. What is next? What is the biggest challenge for you in 2016?

Jose Antonio Meade: I believe public service is a vocation, a vocation that has a path and a journey. And many times, in politics as well as in life, what matters is the journey. If one is preoccupied with the final destination, one runs the risk of not only losing focus on the journey but of not enjoying or taking advantage of it, even deviating from the said journey. That, for me, as a life lesson has always been important. Today, who I am, is the secretary of social development, a fascinating institution, an institution that allows me to touch lives and to transform the stories of families. I hope that what is next is a remembrance of good management of the secretariat [of social development].

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