Mexico continues to be gradually allowing more test plot trials of genetically modified crops. As of Dec. 31, 2011, the Government of Mexico’s equivalent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (SAGARPA) through the National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Food Quality (SENASICA) approved environmental testing permits to developers of GM corn and other crops. Environmental testing requests continue receiving approval, albeit for restricted acreage, as in previous years.

The relevance of this updated information is that SENSICA finally announced the long-awaited approval of two pilot tests of genetically modified corn. These two approvals for pilot testing were granted in the state of Sinaloa and cover an area of 63.48 hectares. Four other pilot tests were denied in the most recent publication.

Moreover, the publication indicated that 38.65 hectares of experimental planting genetically modified corn were approved during the period between January 20 and August 29, 2011. Experimental testing permits were issued for 38 applications for a number of different genetic events across the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Sinaloa, Baja California Sur and Sonora. There are 27 additional applications (20 for experimental testing and 7 for pilot testing) under risk analysis. As such, a decision on these 27 applications has not been made. The GOM continues permitting only a fraction of the requested area for planting and conducting tests.

To read more about the approvals, click here.