Mexican Farmers Fight Transgenic Foods
Latin American news Agency, December 15 2006

Mexico, Dec 15 (Prensa Latina) Farmers from 19 Mexican states began a campaign Friday to protect natural corn and beans from their transgenic counterparts.

The National Farmers' Association (ANEC) says the goal is to recover arable land now neglected or given over to a different use.

Their strategy includes assembling a network of companies that exclusively produce beans to seek commercial and industrial alternatives.

Another goal is to start negotiations with Congress and the Government to pass a law to protect bean and corn production, achieve food sovereignty and defend their condition as farmers.

The ninth ANEC general assembly also discussed financing, sustainable agricultural production and the 2007 rural budget.

There was skepticism over a proposal by Agriculture Secretary Alberto Cardenas to discuss the agribusiness section of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The ANC pointed out that the Mexican Commission for Sustainable Rural Development does not represent the majority and other groups should be included in these long-promised negotiations.

In addition, ANEC is demanding the presence of scientists and academicians linked to the rural sector, who have evidence of the disaster caused by the implementation of such unfair trade terms.

Huge concerns were also raised over the planned elimination of tariffs in 2008 on corn, beans and powder milk under NAFTA.