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During North American Leaders’ Summit, trinational groups call on governments to support biodiversity, food sovereignty over corporate interests

Washington, D.C.—Today, leaders from Mexico, the United States and Canada are gathered at the North American Leaders’ Summit, where, among other issues, they will debate the timeline and scope of Mexico’s ban on the cultivation and import of genetically-modified (GM) corn. More than 100 organizations from the three countries delivered a letter to Mexican senators. In the letter, peasant organizations, farmers, environmentalists, unions, churches, social activists, academics and journalists demand that governments prioritize the production of biodiversity and the right to food sovereignty and security over corporate interests.

The U.S. government, transnational corporations and agribusinesses that benefit from GM corn and biocides, such as glyphosate, are pressuring the Mexican government to renounce its right to food sovereignty and walk away from the international commitments assumed by the three governments in the strategic plan for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity from 2022-2030. As outlined in the letter, the demands that Mexico reject its stance on GM corn are at odds with three of the four goals of the framework.

Signatories to the trinational letter reject these pressures; instead, in each of the three countries, civil society groups express their support for the production of non-GMO corn and other products free of glyphosate and other biotoxins, as well as a policy of fair and sustainable trade. Along with the other organizations, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) is calling on all three governments to take effective measures to comply with commitments to protect biodiversity and respect peoples’ right to food security and sovereignty. The Mexican government should stand firm against pressures from the U.S. and agribusiness to backtrack on its GM corn.

IATP policy experts have followed the ongoing controversy over Mexico’s ban on the cultivation of GM corn and intended phaseout of glyphosate by 2024 and imports of GM corn. When agribusiness lobbies called on the U.S. government to initiate a formal trade dispute under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), IATP analyzed the USMCA text, finding no basis for the claim.

Download a PDF of the press release


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