Gruma to enter Mexico City bread market; defends non-GMO policy

by Emily Wilson
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Gruma S.A. de C.V., the world's largest corn flour miller and a relative newcomer to the wholesale bread business in Mexico, is preparing to market bread in that country's largest city, according to a Mexico City securities firm.

Interacciones Casa de Bolsa said in a Jan. 16 report that Gruma's Breddy brand of bread will be launched in Mexico City before the end of the first quarter by Maseca, Gruma's 83%-owned corn flour subsidiary.

Gruma, through its Prodisa (Productos & Distribuidora Azteca) subsidiary, opened its first bread plant in Mexico in 1998 to supply markets in the north, including Monterrey, the country's third-largest metropolitan area.

"The forthcoming arrival of Breddy in Mexico City will reportedly see Maseca distributing the bread through 300 of the capital's supermarkets," Interacciones Casa de Bolsa said in its report.

Gruma in January also responsed to allegations made by groups of ecologists that products made by Maseca contain transgenic elements which are classified as poisonous. Gruma said it "categorically denied" what it called "reckless and unfounded charges made without scientific basis or lab evidence."

Gruma said its Maseca brand "does not process and has not processed products with corn that could contain elements that have been genetically modified," adding that its products are processed from white corn, which is widely known to have no transgenic mutations.

"There has never been a single case of Maseca's clients and consumers' health being compromised by eating Maseca corn flour" in more than 50 years of doing business in Mexico, Gruma noted.

Although no health agency, either in Mexico or abroad, has declared GMOs to be dangerous to human health, Gruma said has not deemed it appropriate to use or purchase corn varieties that may have been genetically modified.