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Mexico to mull GM seed IP extension

The Mexican Ministry of Agriculture is seeking to extend intellectual property (IP) rights to suppliers of new genetically modified maize lines to “support R&D”. Proposals to extend IP rights from 18 to 25 years in some cases, and from 15 to 20 years in others were issued by the Parliament last month. MPs from the centre left democratic revolutionary party, the PRD, have called for a halt to “moves towards commercialisation” of GM maize, labelling proposed changes as “a threat to Mexican maize seed sovereignty”, national media report. The PRD MPs are to oppose any reforms in votes expected this year. No commercial approvals for GM maize have been granted in Mexico, but at least four applications for pilot planting have been made in the past year ( Agrow No 638, p 23). Pilot planting is an intermediate stage between field trials and commercialisation.

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