LONDON — Mexican biologists believe they are close to confirming the hotly disputed finding of American researchers that the country's traditional varieties of maize are extensively contaminated with transgenic DNA from genetically modified maize.

The Mexican government has banned GM maize from its fields since 1998, while allowing imported GM foodstuffs. Last month, Jorge Soberon, the secretary of the country's National Commission on Biodiversity (CONABIO), told a conference in The Hague that a new study had found massive contamination among landraces grown close to the country's highways. "It is confirmed. There is no doubt about it," he said. The Scientist understands that his findings have now been confirmed by two laboratories using four different analytical techniques. They are set for publication within a few weeks.

The findings are being greeted with special concern because the apparent genetic 'pollution' had occurred in a centre of major biodiversity for the wild relatives...

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