Mexican Honey Producers Lose Out to Monsanto

B. McPherson

Mexican honey producers in the Yucatan Peninsula have lost their legal bid to keep out widespread planting of GM Soybeans in their area. The honey industry in Mexico supports the economy to the tune of about $90 million per year. Much of the Mexican honey is exported to the European Union. This industry has now been thrown into jeopardy.

Most countries in Europe require the labeling of produce and products that contain genetically modified ingredients. Honey is made by bees that gather nectar from flowers. Some pollen from the plants inevitably finds its way into the honey. With the widespread planting of GM crops, the honey producers can no longer market their honey without labeling it GM contaminated.

Mexico is a major world producer of honey. The fourth largest producer has about 16 000 people directly dependent on the industry.

The widespread planting of GM crops threatens the livelihood of the honey producers in ruining their lucrative European markets and also more directly threatening the bees themselves. Genes inserted into some of the GM crops make the plants and their pollen lethal to insects. They have been implicated in hive collapses.

Those peasant farmers near the large plantations of GM crops can no longer be confident of the purity of their produce. The use of chemical herbicides such as Roundup give rise to superweeds, a phenomenon seen in North America after a couple of decades of spraying Roundup on R. Ready GM crops.

I heard a term today that seems particularly apt. The commentator was speaking about the concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands, leaving the ordinary working person in the same position as serfs from Medieval times. He called them “neo –feudal serfs”. That’s exactly what you get when you destroy people’s ability to independently make a living and control their food supply, making them dependent on the largess of the multi-national corporations.

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