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Genes from genetically-engineered corn have been found in traditional crop strains in Mexico, according to a new study likely to reignite a bitter controversy over biotech maize.
A team led by Elena Alvarez-Buylla of the National Autonomous University in Mexico City looked at nearly 2,000 samples from 100 fields in the region from 2001 and 2004, and found that around one percent of the samples had genes that had jumped from GM varieties.
Alvarez-Buylla's team did not explore the impact of the escaped genes on the native corn, on the local environment or human health, nor did it test whether the foreign genes passed on to progeny plants.