Mexico’s planned genetically modified seeds pose a threat to its native corn varieties?

The US and Mexico are at odds over Mexico’s plan to ban the import of genetically modified corn.

Tom Vilsack, US Agriculture Secretary, warned Mexico’s President that the US would have to file legal action against them if there was no “acceptable solution”.

Mexico claims that genetically modified seeds pose a threat to its native corn varieties.

On Tuesday, however, Mexico’s president stated that he would pursue a deal with the US.

Vilsack warned that a ban on US-Mexico commerce would have a “significant effect”, as he had previously stated.

Mexico is the world’s second largest importer of corn after China. A large portion of its corn comes from the United States.

According to a Mexican minister, this ban could lead to Mexico halving US yellow corn imports.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador issued a presidential directive on 31/12 2020 calling for the end to genetically modified corn (GM) for human consumption by the end January 2024.

The US corn exporters were very concerned about the decree. With the deadline fast approaching, the US tried to persuade President Lopez Obrador not to lift or reduce the ban.

Monday saw President Lopez Obrador of Mexico meet Mr Vilsack and share his “deep concern” for the farmers.

“We must find a path forward soon,” Vilsack stated, warning that the US would be forced to look at all options and even take formal steps to enforce their legal rights under the USMCA, a free trade agreement between the US and Canada.

One of the promises made by the Mexican president was to ban GM corn. He stated earlier this month that Mexico was a sovereign country and that GM corn is not something he wanted.

Lopez Obrador claims that there has not been enough scientific research into the impact of genetically modified corn on Mexico’s native corn varieties.

Mexico is proud to be the land where humans domesticated corn thousands of years ago. The country also boasts many heirloom varieties.

It relies heavily on US yellow corn imports to supply its livestock and produce sauces.

Lopez Obrador, President of the Republic of Mexico, stressed Tuesday that GMO corn used for animal feed would be permitted as long as it was not destined for human consumption.


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