US farmers seek to stop AMLO-sponsored ban on transgenic corn in Mexico

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Transgenic seeds have enabled Colombian farmers to improve corn and cotton crops without expanding agricultural frontiers and at lower economic costs.  EFE /MAURICIO DUEÑAS CASTAÑEDA /Archive
Transgenic seeds have enabled Colombian farmers to improve corn and cotton crops without expanding agricultural frontiers and at lower economic costs. EFE /MAURICIO DUEÑAS CASTAÑEDA /Archive

Farmers of the United States urged her government to face an imminent danger ban of the Mexican authorities on the Use of genetically modified cornas part of a regional free trade agreement, warning of Billions of dollars in economic damage for both countries.

A decree published by the President in late 2020 Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador would phase out genetically engineered corn and glyphosate until 2024. Proponents of the ban say GM seeds can do it contaminate ancient native crops and point to research results Herbicide side effects.

Mexico prides itself on being the birthplace of modern corn, however imported about 17 million tons of U.S. grain a year and is on track to buy even more this year, experts said.

Some AMLO government officials, including the Minister of Agriculture, Victor Villaloboshave said that the import of yellow corn for animal feed they are not interrupted.

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico June 20, 2022. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido//File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico June 20, 2022. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido//File Photo

Meanwhile, US growers remain cautious as no official document proves this, according to a US agriculture official familiar with recent meetings with his Mexican counterparts. López Obrador said this month firmly: “We don’t accept transgenic corn.”

Grains for human consumption, including white corn used in products such as Tortillasstaple food in the Mexican diet between 18% and 20% of total US transgenic grain imports. There are still doubts that foreign purchases will be eliminated in 2024.

The Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris) has not approved the import of new seed varieties of transgenic maize resistant to glyphosate since 2018.

The National Corn Growers Association, which represents America’s farmers, wants the Office of the US Trade Representative (VATfor its English acronym) start with a Dispute Resolution Procedure under the Free Trade Agreement (USMCA).

A worker displays corn kernels at the ALIPEC animal feed factory on the outskirts of Guadalajara.  The feed in the complex, which is intended for raising cows, chickens and pigs, is made with a mixture of domestic corn and imported grains, which are often transgenic.  March 11, 2021. REUTERS/Fernando Carranza
A worker displays corn kernels at the ALIPEC animal feed factory on the outskirts of Guadalajara. The feed in the complex, which is intended for raising cows, chickens and pigs, is made with a mixture of domestic corn and imported grains, which are often transgenic. March 11, 2021. REUTERS/Fernando Carranza

Angus R. KellyThe association’s director of public policy, commerce and biotechnology said the group objects to the “nature of the precedent-making edicts” and that Mexico rejects the properties of biotech crops “without any scientific basis”.

Washington could raise a controversy under the Agriculture chapter of the T-MEC, which establishes collaboration between members import regulations a single government according to Raul Urteagaformer Mexican civil servant and founder of the advisory group Global Agrotrade Advisors.

Dispute settlement may be used under some chapters of the Regional Compact when a nation believes that a member has nullified or impaired a benefit in force at the time the agreement was signed.

The Secretary of Agriculture and the United States Embassy in Mexico didn’t comment on it. The USTR and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) did not respond to requests for comment.

Photo: 196flavors.com
Photo: 196flavors.com

The Biotechnological Innovation Organization (ORGANICfor its English acronym), which brings together companies in the industry, including Bayer, stated that it “supports the[United States]government in taking compliance action on the treatment of agricultural biotechnology in Mexico” if the dialogue fails .

Cofepris, in a statement to the agency Reutersmade that clear Their decisions were based on “scientific evidence and risk assessments”.

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