Mexican chefs stand against GMOs

CCTV News

Mexican chefs stand against GMOs

In Mexico, a legal and scientific debate is raging over the costs and benefits of genetically modified corn. The disagreement focuses mostly on health and the environment. For some renowned Mexican chefs, the concern is that GMO corn will destroy long-cultivated flavors of the crop.

CCTV America’s Franc Contreras has Insight from Mexico City.

Mexican chefs stand against GMOs

Mexican chefs stand against GMOs

Some Mexican chefs are against GMO food, insisting they often flatten the range of flavors in food, and could wipe away the very characteristics that have made Mexican food savory. CCTV America’s Franc Contreras has Insight from Mexico City.

Mexico, the birthplace of corn, has become the global battleground over genetically modified versions of this key grain.

Chef Edgar Nuñez, chef and co-owner of Sud 777, knows all about the raging debate over GMO food.

At his award-winning Mexico City restaurant, he does everything possible to avoid such products. He said GMO grains tend to have standardized tastes, which is why Nuñez and other famous Mexican chefs are speaking out against GMO corn.

Nuñez travels to fields and personally selects all the foods his restaurant serves, avoiding GMO products, offering instead a wide variety of naturally grown, regional flavors.

Earlier in May, a group of U.S. scientists and medical professionals released a study stating that genetically modified foods are “safe to eat and do not harm the environment.”

Acclaimed biologist Elena Alvarez-Buylla Roces has studied the effects of plants on human health for 30 years. She said GMO corn can contain an herbicide, which might cause cancer. But native grown Mexican corn contains cancer-preventing antioxidants, along with more fiber and proteins than U.S.-grown GMO corn.

Some Mexican chefs insist that GMO products often flatten the range of flavors in food, and that genetic technology could wipe away the very characteristics that have made food from Mexico so savory.

How much longer they will have a choice in their ingredients, is still a matter of uncertainty.


Wayne Parrott discusses the controversy of GMOs

To discuss genetically modified food controversies, CCTV America’s Mike Walter was joined by Wayne Parrott, PhD, an agriculture and environmental science professor at the University of Georgia.

  • Robert Howd

    Yes, the native corn varieties are more varied, and thus very different than the commercial GMO types. At last, a good solid reason to select the non-GMO types! Different flavors, different uses! (Nothing to do with safety, yield, cost, possible pesticide content, etc. And so, in this case, it’s not that the other corn is GMO that is important, but that it’s the “standard,” less interesting one.)