Date of this Version
GM Crops & Food, 9:152–168, 2018
Mexico is a center of origin for several economically important plants including maize, cotton, and cocoa. Maize represents more than a food crop, has been declared a biological, cultural, agricultural and economic patrimony, and is linked to the national identity of Mexicans. In this review, we describe the historic and current use of genetically modified plants in Mexico and factors that contributed to the development of the biosafety regulation. We developed a database containing all permit applications received by the government to release genetically modified plants. A temporal and geographical analysis identified the plant species that have been authorized for experimental purposes, pilot programs, or commercial production, the geographic areas where they have been released, and the traits that have been introduced. Results show that Mexico has faced a dual challenge: accepting the benefits of genetically modified plants and their products, while protecting native plant biodiversity.